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DePetris named GMDC director of wellness programs

BY Michael Johnsen

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. GMDC on Monday named Christopher DePetris its director of wellness programs, who will be tasked with continuing to advance GMDC’s leadership position in wellness in the general merchandise and health beauty wellness supplier, wholesale and retailing industries.

“[Chris’s] knowledge and vision for consumer driven health and wellness retail solutions and extensive contacts within the retail and supplier communities that are driving innovation within the categories will be of tremendous value to the GMDC membership,” stated Dave McConnell, GMDC president and chief executive officer. “We feel that Chris’s addition to the staff provides GMDC with an executive whose primary focus will be on supporting the development of innovative programs, consumer and business insights and wellness-focused education and training that will clearly demonstrate GMDC’s commitment to being an industry leader in this exploding retail opportunity.”

DePetris joins GMDC from Wild Oats (now Whole Foods), where he was director of the holistic health department. While at Wild Oats, DePetris also served as national category manager of dietary supplements.

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Supply chain conference to showcase new solutions

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. To the surprise of no one in pharmacy retailing, supply chain activities have become one of the most critical aspects of the business. With Wal-Mart setting the bar on just-in-time distribution efficiency and operating costs rising across the board, the quest to boost productivity through supply-chain improvements has taken on increasing urgency, and has elevated the role of supply-chain executives.

That quest also has made the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ annual Supply Chain and Logistics Conference one of the industry’s most anticipated smaller-scale events. This year’s conference, slated for March 2 to 4 at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in Chandler, Ariz., will draw executives representing some 23,000 chain pharmacies and provide a showcase for new developments in source-based product coding, radio frequency identification, just-in-time delivery, inventory returns and other key productivity areas.

“The supply chain has improved its visibility and importance within retailing,” said Steve Perlowski, NACDS vice president of industry affairs. “Wal-Mart built a model of supply chain efficiency, and got chief executive officers talking about it. And when you look at some of the issues we face today, with gas prices and sustainability issues, those expenses can really drain a company’s bottom line.”

That, in turn, is driving attendance. According to NACDS spokeswoman Chrissy Kopple, this year’s gathering will draw some 450 attendees, about 5 percent more than last year.

“The No. 1 reason why companies attend is to meet with their trading partners,” Perlowski said. “It’s all about improving efficiencies and taking unnecessary costs out of the mutual supply chain. It’s arranged to make it very productive, so that in two days’ time you can meet with a good portion of your trading partners and come up with solid action plans to improve your performance over the coming 12 months.”

The other group that will be attending, Perlowski said, are the vendors that serve the supply chain industry—the transportation vendors, the returned-goods processing companies and the technology providers that offer solutions for such critical activities as inventory and warehouse management.

The meeting agenda includes a talk on hiring and training the disabled by Walgreens executives Randy Lewis, senior vice president of distribution and logistics, and Deb Russell, who heads the chain’s career outreach department. NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson also will update attendees on NACDS activities in 2008.

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Energy Star status awarded to 18 Giant Eagle locations

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO In 2007, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Energy Star status to 176 office buildings, schools, hospitals, banks, hotels, supermarkets and college dormitories, including 18 Ohio Giant Eagle locations, in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, the agency announced Friday.

“These buildings are among the nation’s top energy savers,” stated EPA Region 5 administrator Mary Gade. “They use about one-third less energy than average buildings, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money.”

Nationally, nearly 4,100 buildings and manufacturing plants had earned EPA’s Energy Star through the end of 2007. The total includes about 1,500 office buildings, 1,300 supermarkets, 820 schools and 250 hotels. Also, more than 185 banks, financial centers, hospitals, courthouses, warehouses, dormitories and big-box retail buildings earned the Energy Star. More than 35 manufacturing plants such as cement, auto assembly, corn refining and petroleum refining are also being recognized.

In total, these award-winning commercial buildings and manufacturing plans have saved nearly $1.5 billion annually in lower energy bills and prevented carbon dioxide emissions equal to the emissions associated with electricity use of more than 1.5 million American homes for a year, relative to typical buildings.

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