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Ahold Delhaize’s U.S. operations post $43.4 billion in annual sales

BY Michael Johnsen

Ahold Delhaize closed its first full year operating as a whole unit on a strong note, with Ahold USA recording fourth quarter net sales of $6.6 billion on 1.1% growth and Delhaize America posting $4.3 billion in net sales on 1.4% growth. For the year, Ahold USA generated $26 billion in net sales and Delhaize America $17.4 billion.

“Both Ahold USA and Delhaize America reported strong underlying operating margins, driven by synergies,” Dick Boer, CEO Ahold Delhaize, said. “Inflation remained at low levels and volumes at Food Lion continued to benefit from the implementation of its ‘Easy, Fresh and Affordable’ program that has now been rolled out to more than half of its store base. Hannaford reported its 15th consecutive quarter with positive comparable sales growth.”

During the quarter, Giant Carlisle opened eight new in-store Beer & Wine Eatery locations featuring an expanded assortment of wines, beers and fast-casual food that helps increase the grocer’s transaction count. At year end, Giant Carlisle operated 54 of these eateries.

Peapod, Ahold USA’s online grocer, raised its customer satisfaction index by improving key drivers such as on-time delivery, available delivery slots, in-stock items, value perception and the user-friendliness of its website.

On the Delhaize America side of the business, Hannaford further expanded its click-and-collect service as a convenience solution to the markets it serves. “We have been building continuously on the Hannaford To Go concept, where I think we’re close to 50 stores now where we offer click-and-collect,” Boer told shareholders Wednesday.

Delhazie America also has been investing significantly in its customer loyalty programs. Food Lion successfully completed the pilot of its “Shop & Earn” digital loyalty program, which offers customers the opportunity to receive personalized savings on the products and categories they shop the most. And at Hannaford, the “My Hannaford Rewards” loyalty program became available to more stores during the quarter with the banner-wide launch in January 2018. The program is a reinvention of grocery store loyalty programs providing further incentives to customers buying own-brand items, in addition to already-low prices.

Those loyalty programs become more critical moving forward in a price-competitive market. “The U.S. is a competitive market at the moment,” Jeffrey Carr, Ahold Delhaize CFO, told shareholders. “The stronger players are investing in price. And certainly, Walmart has been investing in price. … We’ve been maintaining our price gap to Walmart [and] we’ll continue to seek to maintain those price gaps to the discounters, including Walmart, and relative to our supermarket peers.”

 

 

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Rite Aid’s EnvisionPharmacies gains PCAB accreditation

BY Michael Johnsen

EnvisionPharmacies, a division of the Rite Aid subsidiary EnvisionRxOptions, announced that its compounding pharmacy received accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board, a service of Accreditation Commission for Health Care. EnvisionPharmacies also holds accreditation for both Mail and Specialty Pharmacy from URAC, a healthcare management accrediting organization.

“Compounded medications can be a lifesaver for patients who are unable to take commercially available drugs because of allergies or difficulty swallowing,” said Bruce Scott, president of EnvisionPharmacies. “For patients with unique therapeutic needs, compounded medications are a highly customized, cost-effective option to provide clinically necessary therapies.”

PCAB assesses pharmacies that compound medications by combining, mixing or altering drug ingredients to create a medication as prescribed for an individual patient. The accreditation process includes an extensive onsite survey conducted by an independent expert and annual verification to ensure compliance with the pharmacy compounding process defined by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention guidelines.

The practice of compounding medications has received recent attention for both affordability and quality. EnvisionPharmacies employs highly trained pharmacists who prepare safe, effective, custom compounded medications by mixing individual ingredients in the precise strength and dosage prescribed for an individual patient. Prepared in a state-of-the-art lab to prevent cross contamination, compounded medications available from EnvisionPharmacies include allergen-free preparations, formulations for patients who have trouble swallowing or taste sensitivities, and combinations of multiple medications made into a single dose form. Achieved by a select number of compounding pharmacies nationally, accreditation from PCAB validates EnvisionPharmacies’ commitment to safe practices, and offers an affordable solution for employers and health plans.

“PCAB Accreditation allows pharmacies to distinguish themselves as a high-quality pharmacy, committed to the highest compounding standards” said Jon Pritchett, associate director of pharmacy for PCAB. “EnvisionPharmacies has successfully demonstrated its ability to develop high quality, safe and effective compound medications to meet the unique needs of their patients.”

“Through the process of accreditation, PCAB has evaluated every series of action we take in the lab,” explained Allison Shuster, manager, Compounding department for EnvisionPharmacies. “This is vital for patient safety, as every product is compounded by hand from formulas uniquely created for each individual patient’s individual needs. PCAB Accreditation recognizes our commitment to provide the highest quality compounded medications for all our patients and maintains that we follow the best practices in the industry.”

 

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PDS recognizes Health Mart pharmacy team for perseverance

BY Michael Johnsen

James Drug Store, a Health Mart pharmacy in Denham Springs, La., received the Team of the Year Award from Pharmacy Development Services earlier this week. Chris Dimos, president of retail solutions, McKesson, presented the award at the PDS Super-Conference held in Orlando, Fla. last week.

“Health Mart and McKesson are proud to recognize the outstanding team at James Drug Store for their resilience and outstanding performance in the face of both natural disasters and business setbacks,” Dimos said. “Pat Brian and his team banded together to not only meet these challenges, but exceed expectations for the pharmacy’s ongoing clinical and business performance. They are very deserving of this recognition and I hope that they will continue to serve as a role model for how pharmacies can perform at their best – during good times and challenging times.”

In 2016, a severe flood devastated Denham Springs, destroying nearly 400 businesses and damaging more than 75% of the homes, including the homes of Brian and the store’s owner, Herman Crotwell. Despite the fact that many of the staff had lost everything in the flood, James Drug Store was open the next day serving customers.

The team’s resilience was tested again in 2017 when their prescription long-term care business, in partnership with another organization and due for expansion, was unexpectedly terminated. As a result, the team went from filling 42,000 prescriptions per month to 17,000.

Tapping into the tools provided at the Super-Conference, Brian was encouraged to replace the business with an in-depth focus on compounding and the launch of a weight loss protocol. These steps added 62% to the store’s net profit in 2017 and the team replaced 75% of the lost income. Brian expects they will soon replace all lost income and create a clinic in the space initially dedicated to the LTC expansion.

The Team of the Year Award recognizes a PDS member pharmacy that has exemplified leadership and teamwork. The recipient serves as an example of how a model pharmacy team should work. The James Drug Store team, a Health Mart pharmacy, received the award in recognition of their resilience in the face of adversity.

McKesson’s Health Mart supports a network of nearly 5,000 independent pharmacies with solutions that help pharmacists improve clinical performance, manage operational changes and discover additional revenue opportunities to build and maintain a thriving business.

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