BEAUTY CARE

Walmart exec encourages the industry to seek the bigger picture

BY Dan Mack

Walmart’s Shawn Townzen told a group of sales and marketing executives that his company’s buying teams are focusing on the ‘bigger picture” as the chain seeks to maintain momentum in an increasingly-complex retail arena.

Speaking in Bentonville, Ark. at a Mack Elevation thought leadership conference, Townzen, who is a VP and DMM, personal care, said that industry executives must align with Walmart’s philosophies and be ready to change on the go as the chain’s blueprint evolves.

“Walmart buying teams are focusing on ‘bigger picture’ thinking, driving more from the core assortment, while reducing out of stocks on high performing items,” he said. “Walmart wants to be the most trusted retailer in the industry.

“Walmart’s business plan focuses on running great stores – delivering consumer value – being great merchants and providing convenience to all shoppers,” Townzen noted. He also discussed, in detail, that Walmart’s merchandising strategic priorities include, “driving sales with an EDLP value proposition, resetting the cost structure and accelerating the multi-channel experience.

“The line review is the epicenter of the assortment decision-making process. Suppliers must show up with ammunition to win the moment. The best manufacturers are introducing true innovation – not product renovation. It’s important to know the difference,” added Townzen.

This was Mack Elevation’s fourth conference of the year at Walmart and Mack stressed that it gave industry officials an opportunity to think outside the box.

“We all love predictability and feel stress during moments of personal or professional disruption.   There are competitive threats, disruptive challenger’s and business risks everywhere,” said Mack. “Your advantage is not forever; it must be earned every day. Your leadership style must be open, enthusiastic and contagious. If you want to see a company change, first personally change.  How are you showing up?”  

Mack shared the research of Daniel Goldman, reminding forum participants that “moods travel from the leader, through the organization to the bottom line financial results. Optimistic cultures enhance creativity, efficiency and encourage collaboration. These cultures are both aspirational and safe; allowing for truth-telling. We must learn to embrace the tension of creating a blend of candor & optimism.”

Next year will be the 10th year of the Elevation Forum group. To learn more about the Elevation Forum and other events visit www.mackelevationforum.com.

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The Emerson Group names new president

BY Michael Johnsen

WAYNE, Pa. — The Emerson Group recently named 30-year industry veteran Ed Morgan to the role of president. Morgan will lead Emerson Group Field Sales, as well as the Emerson Walmart team.

The Emerson Group is a forward-thinking consumer products equity organization, which manages CPG brands in excess of $3.8 billion and holds equity positions in small- and medium-sized brands.

Morgan has been with Emerson since 2005, coming out of the supplier community where he called on Walmart for Bayer and Novartis, among other OTC vendors.

With Emerson, Morgan's responsibilies have included leading new business development, brand management and marketing.

Morgan earned a business degree from the University of Missiissippi and resides in Bentonville, Ark.

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Gillette’s Treo assisted-shaving razor enters pilot phase

BY David Salazar

BOSTON — Gillette’s Treo razor, developed specifically for assisted shaving, is entering a new phase of its journey to shelves. The company now is inviting consumers in the United States and UK to request a product sample via the Treo website, and the razor will be undergoing a three-month pilot phase in various professional care home and institutions, with Gillette providing samples and recording feedback to refine the product ahead of its launch and after.

The razor was designed with the needs of a caregiver in mind, with a blade designed to make the shave safe and prevent clogging, a handle that allows it to be operated like a paintbrush and shave gel built into the handle.

“When researching the project, the first step was to visit a care facility to see how the assisted shaving experience is different when compared to how we shave ourselves,” Treo lead designer at Gillette Matthew Hodgson said. “Very quickly, we noticed big differences and big difficulties. For example, we realized the ergonomics of the handle and direction of the blade completely change when turned to shave another person, and thus a complete redesign would need to be engineered.”

More than 8 million older adults in the United States receive assistance with daily living activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2016 report from AARP about caregivers and technology estimated that the caregiver market opportunity would reach roughly $72 billion by 2020, and that 71% of caregivers said they were interested in technology that would support their caregiving tasks.

“When we spoke with our partners … we learned that the primary goal of family members and professional caregivers alike is to help maintain a sense of normalcy and to support lost functions – like the ability to shave oneself,” Procter & Gamble VP research and development for global grooming Melissa Monich said. “We were struck by how important these day-to-day activities are in supporting the dignity, pride and morale of those who need assistance. This made us even more compelled to use our expertise to develop a more comfortable and safer experience — and that is what continues to inspire us on this Treo journey.”

To request a sample, click here.

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