Walgreens’ Shannon Curtin shares insights during latest Mack Elevation Forum
WHEELING, Ill. — “When you create something for [our various retail concepts], you are creating a new experience and environment that makes us different than our competitive set. Exclusivity of the experience is a large differentiator.” That was a key message that keynote retail speaker Shannon Curtin, Walgreens divisional VP and GMM for beauty, personal care and seasonal, had for attendees of the latest Mack Elevation Forum.
The most recent Elevation Forum was held Oct. 17 at the Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel in Wheeling, Ill., which is located roughly five miles from Walgreens’ headquarters. More than 20 suppliers gathered to attend the all-day event, founded by Dan Mack, managing director of Mack Elevation Forum and strategy leader of The Swanson Group.
Curtin attended the event to offer critical insights into how to successfully and strategically align with Walgreens, as Mack led discussions on business habits and evaluating talent within the supplier community.
As illustrated in a recent issue of Drug Store Stores, Walgreens is working to transform the traditional drug store, and the beauty and personal care space is no exception.
When looking to work with Walgreens, suppliers need to be aware of the various formats under the retailer’s banner, including flagship locations and Well Experience stores. They must also determine the best fit for the community they will mutually serve by thinking about how to create a unique experience within that respective format and passing what Curtin referred to as a “gut check.”
“Within each of these stores, make a proposal to us that the customer always has to win first. Then assure the proposal aligns with our mission and strategy. For example, in a flagship store, the world is open to you to co-create whatever you would like to propose and we are happy to entertain those new ideas,” said Curtin, who also stressed that the proposed product/solution must be exclusive to Walgreens and unique to the market. In other words, it needs to be a game-changer. “In these flagship stores, it is for us to showcase the best of the best,” she said.
And within the Well Experience stores, for example, the retailer is taking the essence of what makes that store special and heightening it to open up a new shopping experience. To further serve shoppers, some of these locations will also have an online element where shoppers can access information via an in-store kiosk to find additional products not sold in the physical location, purchase the item and have it shipped home.
Curtin also discussed the future of private brands and told attendees that while Walgreens will continue to support private brand, it is eager to entertain potential partnerships between noncompeting private and national brands. “If you have an idea to partner with one of our private brands, we think that’s a great solution," she said.
As mentioned earlier, Mack kicked off the event with an open discussion on business habits to help unearth some best practices.
“We tend to get enthralled in the myopic issues of the day … I think an underrated proposition is to allow your teams to have the flexibility to think” and, perhaps more importantly, to think ahead much like a chess game, said one supplier.
Avoid falling into a price game and understand that “different makes a difference,” added another supplier.
Another attendee said, “When people have a voice and feel they can help develop a strategic plan, it makes them feel like they are more on board.”
The day came to a close with a discussion on evaluating talent. When asked what they look for when evaluating talent, some attendees said passion, positive energy, ownership and someone who is looking to “fix” things or bring solutions to the table.
Mack also suggested that employers not underestimate the value of a “virtual bench.” In other words, employers should always have several potential new hires in mind or sitting on a “virtual bench,” who could step in to fill an unexpected vacancy.
Clearly the all-day forum covered a lot of ground and, once again, proved to be an invaluable discussion for attendees. And if there was one message Mack wanted to convey, it was “Don’t play today safe — risk.”
SensatioNail launches limited-edition holiday shades of Glitter Gel Polish
LAKE FOREST, Calif. — Pacific World’s at-home gel polish brand SensatioNail is gearing up for the holiday season with the launch of a limited-edition 2012 holiday collection, SensatioNail Glitter Gel Polish Duos.
Debuting in three festive shades — Confetti Glitz (steel gray/silver glitter), Champagne Cocktail (black/gold glitter), and Midnight Kiss (deep red/red glitter) — each set offers a traditional gel manicure with light-reflecting, sparkling effects. SensatioNail Glitter Gel Polish marks the brand’s third launch this quarter in the gel polish arena.
The new Glitter Gel Polish Duos are comprised of one solid color gel polish, one glitter gel polish, and a manicure stick. Users can create sparkling effects by topping the color gel polish trend shade with its glittering counterpart. For a design twist, the glitter gel polish can be used alone, or as an accent on a single nail. The gel polishes are flash-cured in seconds using the SensatioNail PRO 3060 LED LAMP — included in the SensatioNail Starter Kit — for a high-shine, chip-proof finish that requires zero dry time. Each Glitter & Color Gel Polish provides 10 gel manicure applications that last for up to two weeks each. SensatioNail Glitter Gel Polish can be removed at home with the Gel Polish Removal Kit and Gel Polish Removal Tool.
SensatioNail supports all new product launches by educating consumers with step-by-step guides, tips and tricks on their digital platforms. These tutorials can be accessed on SensatioNail’s web site, social media sites, or by scanning the QR codes found on all product packaging.
SensatioNail Glitter Gel Polish Duos will retail for $11.99 each, and will be available in November at mass and drug retailers.
CCA Industries announces 4Q dividend
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Health and beauty products manufacturer CCA Industries — whose brands include Plus+White toothpastes and teeth whiteners, Nutra Nail nail care treatments and Gel Perfect UV-free gel color — announced that its board has approved the company’s 34th consecutive dividend.
The board approved a dividend of 7 cents per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, payable to all shareholders of record as of Nov. 6, 2012, and to be paid on Dec. 6, 2012.
"We are optimistic that our revenues and net income will continue to grow into fiscal 2013 and are pleased to continue the dividend for our shareholders as we work to enhance shareholder value," stated Dunnan Edell, president and CEO.
Last week, the company reported total revenues for the third quarter ended Aug. 31 of $14 million, an increase of 14.5% compared with the year-ago period. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $428,747 compared with net income of $399,294 for the same period in fiscal 2011. Basic and fully diluted earnings per share for the quarter were 6 cents.