Smartphones and tablets: Gateway to greater sales or to more competition?
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The fact that 3-out-of-every-4 smartphone and tablet owners use their devices to help them shop is downright frightening. Because the real question then becomes, "Where are those consumers making that purchase — is it at retail or with someone whose name starts with ‘www.’?"
(THE NEWS: Nielsen survey unveils how smartphone, tablet owners use devices for shopping-related activities. For the full story, click here.)
That’s a big part of the reasoning behind Target’s decision in the past week to kick Kindle to the curb — during the holidays, Amazon.com had been encouraging shoppers to use brick-and-mortar stores as live showrooms even as those shoppers clicked and shipped that product home, courtesy of Amazon.com. Beyond charging admission at the front door, how does a brick-and-mortar operator not lose when that happens?
Fortunately, not everyone has a tablet. At least not yet. Tablet penetration stands at about 19% of the U.S. population as of January 2012, according to Nielsen. But according to another report issued May 3, DisplaySearch forecasts tablet sales will outpace PC notebook sales by 2016.
Comparatively, 46% of Americans owned smartphones as of December 2011, according to Nielsen. And that larger number of smartphone owners actually may be making purchases in-store — with 42% working against a shopping list (indicating a planned trip) and 36% redeeming a moblie coupon.
So there is still time to react considering that less than half of tablet owners have actually purchased an item with their tablet (compared to 29% of smartphone owners). So now the opportunity becomes: How do you convert that tablet shopper from a retail purveyor to an in-store buyer?
The Little Clinic earns reaccreditation from the Joint Commission
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Little Clinic has announced that it has earned reaccreditation from the Joint Commission by continuing to demonstrate compliance with the highest national standards for healthcare safety and quality of care.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Kroger, The Little Clinic initially earned accreditation and the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval in 2009 and is only the second retail healthcare provider to receive reaccreditation from the Joint Commission.
The company is the third-largest retail clinic operator with 80 locations in select Kroger, King Soopers and Fry’s stores in six states.
“As an organization, we make a daily commitment to serve our patients with the highest standards of quality care,” stated Mike Stoll, CEO of The Little Clinic. “Reaccreditation by the Joint Commission reinforces that commitment and lets our patients know that we not only talk about excellence of care; we [also] deliver it.”
As a part of the system reaccreditation process, which occurs every three years, Joint Commission surveyors visited The Little Clinic’s corporate office to review the standardization of clinical operations; medical affairs, including provider credentialing and enrollment; human resources; billing practices; and information technology. In addition, surveyors conducted unannounced site visits to clinic locations to assess for consistency of operations and focus on the use of evidence-based medical practices by clinicians to ensure high-quality care and safety in the delivery of patient services.
The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in the healthcare industry, evaluating and accrediting more than 19,000 other organizations, including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and behavioral healthcare organizations in the United States.
“With healthcare costs rising and consumers increasingly taking charge of their health, what The Little Clinic provides — quality health care and wellness solutions that are both convenient and affordable — is more important now than perhaps ever before,” stated Dave Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “We are proud that The Little Clinic earned reaccreditation from the Joint Commission, which reaffirms our commitment to helping our customers live their healthiest lives.”
Family Dollar, McLane enter partnership
MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar is gearing up to offer its customers a broader selection of merchandise, including refrigerated and frozen food, through a strategic partnership with McLane.
Beginning in September, McLane, a provider of grocery and food service supply chain solutions, will provide a robust offering across the retailer’s more than 7,200 locations in 45 states, but will tailor the assortment to local markets. Additionally, through its partnership with McLane, Family Dollar will establish a national supply chain for refrigerated and frozen merchandise that will provide both the scale and consistent service to propel this growing segment of the business.
"We are broadening our assortment and increasing our relevancy to our customers," Family Dollar chairman and CEO Howard Levine said. "McLane’s national footprint and broad distribution network make them a great partner to support our growth initiatives."
McLane grocery president Mike Youngblood said the partnership is a "significant opportunity" for the company.
"Servicing all of the Family Dollar Stores will involve 19 of our distribution centers across the country," oungblood said. "Our nationwide reach combined with our industry-leading cold chain solution and vast SKU offerings makes this an ideal fit for both of our companies."