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Walgreens reveals merchandising changes, identifies new team

BY Rob Eder

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens announced a series of changes in its merchandising division following a realignment of the group, aimed at “better integrat[ing] with and accelerat[ing] our strategy to become America’s first choice for health and daily living,” Walgreens president of daily living products and solutions Joe Magnacca said late Friday in a statement to Drug Store News.

As a result, Walgreens’ three general merchandise managers and areas of responsibility are:

• 

Steve Broughton, food, beverages and household consumables;


• Shannon Curtin (formerly Petree), beauty, personal care and seasonal; and

• 
Robert Tompkins, health and wellness, front-end services and general merchandise.

All three continue to report to VP merchandising/chief merchandising officer Bryan Pugh. The moves became effective Friday.


“By the end of the day Monday, our vendors will be able to access this information, along with the new roles for our divisional merchandise managers and category managers, on our SupplierNet extranet,” Magnacca said.

As part of the moves, Frank Grilli, will now lead the expansion of the company’s regional buying program as divisional VP/GMM for regional procurement. “We have piloted this program in three markets and will be expanding it over the coming months, providing additional buying support, economies of scale and governance to our local markets,” Magnacca noted. “Frank will bring his deep store experience as well as buying expertise to this important new role.”  

In his new role, Grilli reports to Mark Scharbo, VP inventory strategy, as will Steve Lubin, divisional VP/GMM for non-mainland sourcing.    

In addition, it was announced that Magnacca’s leadership team had been expanded to include Moe Alkemade as VP retail brands and global sourcing, and Rachel Bishop as VP daily living strategy and business development.

Pugh and Scharbo will also continue reporting to Magnacca. 

Prior to the announcement, Alkemade had been GMM private brands, an area he will continue to oversee — including for Duane Reade. He will also be responsible for expanding Walgreens’ global sourcing capabilities. 
 
Bishop, who had been divisional VP strategic planning and analysis prior to the moves, will take on an expanded role, encompassing merchandising and marketing strategy, as well as support for mergers and acquisitions and other business development opportunities that support Walgreens’ daily living business objectives, Magnacca explained. Bishop will also continue to manage pricing, promotional strategy and capability development.  

“With our new structure now in place, we have put together a great team to meet the needs of our customers and our team members in our stores. I’m looking forward to the exceptional work we will do together,” he said.
 

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Study: 1-in-5 teachers failed to distinguish medicines from candy

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — More than 1-in-4 kindergarten children, and 1-in-5 teachers, had difficulty distinguishing between medicine and candy in new research conducted by two now seventh-grade students, who presented their findings earlier this week at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition here.

Casey Gittelman and Eleanor Bishop conducted their study, "Candy or Medicine: Can Children Tell the Difference?" earlier this year at Ayer Elementary School in suburban Cincinnati.

The girls obtained a medicine cabinet from the Drug and Poison Information Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with a mixture of 20 candies and medicines. They then randomly selected 30 teachers and 30 kindergarten students and asked them which items in the cabinet were candies, taking into consideration that many of the younger children were unable to read. In addition, participants were surveyed on how they stored medicine at home and their daily medicine usage.

Students correctly distinguished candy from medicine at a rate of 71%, while teachers did so at a rate of 78%. Students who couldn’t read did significantly worse at distinguishing between candy and medicine compared to students who could read. The most common mistakes among teachers and students were M&Ms being mistaken for Coricidin (43%), SweeTarts for Mylanta (53%), Reese’s Pieces for Sine-off (50%) and SweeTarts for Tums (53%).

"(The candy) most frequently mistaken were circular objects, those similar in color and shine, and those with no distinguishable markings," Bishop said. In addition, 78% of the 60 students and teachers in the study said medicines in their homes were not locked and out-of-reach.

"We found that neither teachers nor students store their medicines appropriately at home," Gittelman said. "Interventions to educate families about safe storage of medicines and manufacturing medicines to have distinguishable appearances may help to reduce unintentional ingestions of medications."

According to a post on OTCsafety.org, a consumer website operated by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation to educate parents on safe use of over-the-counter medicines, research published in the September 2011 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics found that the number of accidental drug poisonings among young children increased 22% from 2001 to 2008. In 95% of the cases, the poisoning occurred because an unsupervised child ingested the drug, not because of a labeling or dosage error by a parent or healthcare worker.

Each year, almost 60,000 children under the age of 5 years wind up in hospital emergency rooms because of unsupervised medicine ingestions.

For proper medicine storage, the CHPA Education Foundation advised:

  • Choose a place that is high up and out of sight to keep all of your family’s medicines and vitamins, including those products you use every day;

  • Put medicines and vitamins away — out of reach and out of sight — every time after you use them;

  • Always lock the child safety cap completely each time you use a medicine;

  • Remind house guests of safe medicine storage so they don’t leave medicines in bags, coats or other reachable places that small children can get into;

  • Always tell children what medicines are, never referring to them as candy; and

  • Keep the national poison control helpline number handy, or program it into your phone: (800) 222-1222. 

 


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Anna’s Thins to debut new packaging

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO — Lotus Bakeries said that the Anna’s Thins cookies brand will show off a new look this month.

The company said that Anna’s Thins packaging, designed by Turner Duckworth, now features a refined and restored logo and new photography to underscore the cookies’ flavors. The new packaging will be used for all four flavors in the line, including ginger thins, almond thins, orange thins and chocolate mint thins. To celebrate the new packaging, Lotus Bakeries and Turner Duckworth have designed a special collector’s edition Anna’s tin, which will be included for a limited-time in all Anna’s Thins three-package trays at retailers nationwide.

“We are excited to announce the launch of the new Anna’s Thins packaging,” Lotus Bakeries North America executive president Marco de Leeuw said. “The Turner Duckworth design team has done an excellent job of honoring — yet energizing — the look and feel of the original Anna’s Thins, which many have grown to know and love.”

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