Walgreens, ECRM partner on Supplier Diversity Summit
DEERFIELD, Ill. and SOLON, Ohio — ECRM on Thursday announced that it would be teaming up with Walgreens Boots Alliance on a one-day Supplier Diversity Summit. The summit will be held on July 19 in Chicago, when the retailer’s category managers will meet with diverse-owned suppliers in the health-and-wellness, beauty and personal care, competitive convenience and OTC/advanced care categories.
The event is part of Walgreens’ efforts to partner with and promote diverse and small business suppliers to grow their enterprises.
“Since the formalization of our program in 2007, we have worked with many diverse-owned businesses in the community,” Walgreens director of supplier diversity Rona Fourte said. “The ECRM Diversity Summit builds on this commitment and we look forward to meeting suppliers with new innovative offerings to enhance the selection of items that our customers value as we champion everyone’s right to be happy and healthy.”
At the event, Walgreens’ nine category managers will have private, pre-scheduled meetings with as many as 17 suppliers, who also will attend a keynote presentation during lunch. Ahead of the summit, ECRM will host two webcast presentations featuring Walgreens representatives discussing the company’s diversity program and outlining category managers’ expectations so suppliers can prepare for the meetings.
“ECRM is excited to be partnering with Walgreen’s Boots Alliance to create a program that enables it to find and source supplier diversity from within the consumer packaged goods industry,” ECRM SVP retail Wayne Bennett said. “Aligning the goals of the merchant teams, ECRM has developed a comprehensive approach to efficiently onboard these suppliers with educational resources, training modules and access to industry service providers to win on the shelf. The Walgreens Supplier Diversity Summit will be an outstanding day of learning, access and network-building.”
Suppliers interested in being participating can contact ECRM senior retail solutions account manager Shelly Wright at [email protected] or by phone at (440) 498-0500. Suppliers also must complete an online application for Walgreens’ consideration. The application deadline is May 1.
Great program. Looking forward to attending. We are certified woman owned.
Banana Boat launches 2 new products ahead of summer
SHELTON, Conn. — Edgewell Personal Care’s Banana Boat sunscreen brand is gearing up for summer with new additions to its product portfolio. The brand is introducing Banana Boat Dry Balance lotion and Clear UltraMist, as well as Banana Boat Kids Sport lotion and spray with PowerStay Technology.
“Banana Boat is excited to continue delivering innovative products that demonstrate our commitment to providing a product for the entire family,” Banana Boat senior brand manager Tracy Garbowski said. “We want our customers to have the most enjoyable experience when it comes to sunscreen and not feel greasy or weighted after multiple sunscreen applications. New Dry Balance sunscreen aims to eliminate that heavy feeling by absorbing excess moisture to help keep you feeling dry and fresh, even after a day in the sun. Our new Kids Sport with PowerStay Technology is also a great product that provides strong, durable protection — a necessity for today's active family.”
Banana Boat said the new offerings have been tested to stay on in seven conditions — sun, pool water, ocean water, wind, sweat and heat up to 100 degrees. The Dry Balance sunscreen — which the brand said is formulated to absorb excess moisture and dry with a soft matte finish — is available in SPF 30 and 50+. The Kids Sport sunscreen — which has a mild, fragrance- and tear-free formula — is available in SPF 50+.
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Q&A: CVS’ Judy Sansone discusses latest front-store efforts
NEW YORK — CVS Health on April 19 officially debuted a new store design to enhance the retail customer experience with a new assortment of healthier food, health-focused products and expanded beauty selections, paired with informational signage throughout the store to help customers discover new offerings.
The company’s front of store today will clearly not be its front of store tomorrow. According to CVS, combined with its innovative digital programs, these changes represent the “next evolution of the customer experience at CVS Pharmacy.”
To discuss some of these changes, Drug Store News sat down with Judy Sansone, CVS’ SVP front store business and chief merchant, at a company event that introduced these changes in New York City.
To read DSN’s April 19 story that first introduced the changes, click here.
DSN: In terms of store design, what changes will customers see when walking through CVS Pharmacy doors with the new store model?
Judy Sansone: A big part of how we developed this design is with a customer-first [approach]. We did a lot of customer research, and what we found is the customers’ view of health is changing. She’s much more empowered, and also needs a sense of discovery. Not just in beauty, which we’ve done really well, but in core health. When I think about the core anchors in our store — beauty, health and healthy food — what we see is many more proactive solutions about managing health. So if somebody were to be walking away from our new format, they’d be saying ‘Look at all of the ways I can control my health through all of these great solutions.’
In health care, [there’s a shift] from sick care to self care. With a category like sleep, a few years ago it was based on an OTC product. Now, we’ve actually supplemented the mix because customers are looking for things beyond traditional solutions, such as … non-pill forms, headphones that help you sleep, a quiet mist humidifier or a sound machine. There are several things we are proactively curating to help a customer manage their health. That comes through with skin care for beauty, sun care and, in particular, we’ve taken out low-SPF products and added high SPFs and more natural products in our stores.
DSN: Since CVS exited the tobacco business in 2014, improving and adding to your health and beauty offerings has been a top priority. How well has this worked thus far, and what feedback have you received from customers about the changes you’ve made?
Sansone: The tobacco exit was such a pivotal point for us. At the same time, CVS changed its name to CVS Health. For us, that created a filter change. Because of who we were, it started to make us ask questions about what we should be doing as CVS Health versus where we were previously. We started with the customer. What did they say? The day after our tobacco exit, customers were so happy …, but they said, ‘What’s next?’ The first thing they asked for was healthy food. As the customer has changed the perception of who CVS is, the bar gets higher. So she has asked us for more healthy food, and 50% of our healthy food mix today is healthy, better-for-you products. That was not true a few years ago.
On the beauty side, we are also eliminating ‘chemicals of concern’ from beauty products — parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde. These are things that customers are talking about that set a higher bar for CVS.
DSN: Other industries, such as convenience stores, still stock a lot of less healthy products. You already touched upon the healthy lifestyle, but what made you certain that adding better-for-you products was the right move?
Sansone: Consumers should certainly want healthier products, but we don’t stop there. We care about the business, too. We’re looking at the results and what we know is, the customer is buying these products. CVS doesn’t carry the breadth of [food] products that a grocery store does, so we definitely look at industry data about what products are selling well. We also do direct research with our customers to understand what trends are important. A great one we have coming up in back-to-school time is a focus on foods that are allergen free. If you’re a parent of someone with an allergen, it’s a big concern for you. Many of our customers talk to us about the needs for products that are allergen free.
In the same way, we found that our customers really wanted gluten-free products. Thirty-eight percent of our ‘products with purpose’ — about 800 SKUs — are gluten-free. It’s a growing trend in the industry. We look at what customers are asking us for, and we look at the data.
DSN: Tell us about some of the specific changes you are making in beauty.
Sansone: We are doing a lot of work on trend areas. Korean beauty is one of the most recent trends we added to the stores. But we’re also adding a number of exclusive products. These products are coming from small, independent brands and are reaching a new customer. Customers are very excited about beauty, so we are creating a trend area in our stores for it.
DSN: As part of the front-store transformation, CVS announced it would add 100 ft. of new merchandise in health, beauty and healthier food, and use a streamlined layout to highlight themes that make shopping easier. What will be eliminated from the store to accommodate this space?
Sansone: It will be at the expense of general merchandise categories. As you can imagine, magazines and books are not the fastest-growing categories in our stores. Also, we will still carry some seasonal items in our stores, but it will be a bit less than what we’ve had in the past. As we add these new businesses, we always look to optimize our store, and we’re looking at how we can use that space most efficiently.
DSN: Something new for CVS is the addition of audio and optical centers. Why did you want to enter that area?
Sansone: We’re a healthcare company, and the pharmacy is the heart of CVS. MinuteClinic is a health service that has been a tremendous success with consumers. The next health services we wanted to look to were optical and audio. We’ve been in a pilot with those, and we expect to have [these services] in 50 stores by the end of the year. They are important to peoples’ health. They are big businesses. Many people need glasses. With hearing, nearly two-thirds of customers with hearing problems don’t treat them. Part of [the problem] is access. We can provide access. We have stores everywhere, and we can create better access and hopefully value.
DSN: Let’s quickly switch to technology. Can you give us any updates regarding the CVS app?
Sansone: Today, our customer at CVS can get digital receipts, and we can send all of our ExtraCare offers to their card. They also can press one button to pay and have all the coupons handled in one easy step. In addition, you can actually pick up your prescription in an express way. So if you have a prescription to pick up, you don’t have to give your date of birth or other similar information. Digital technology is making everything easier.
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