Attendee runs marathon, hits show floor
SAN DIEGO There were a number of healthcare and wellness-focused Marketplace attendees this year at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ conference who took advantage of the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The marathon was held Sunday morning across San Diego long before Marketplace attendees began filling the walkways of the show floor.
One of those runners was cancer survivor Kenneth Todd, beauty buyer for Food Lion, who finished 3,402 among more than 30,000 runners, completing the 26-mi. course in four hours and 39 minutes. Todd started training for his first marathon in 2006, the year carcinoid cancer claimed one of his lungs. His doctor told him that about the only thing he couldn’t do was run a marathon, so Todd, along with a close group of Food Lion colleagues, ran his first 26-miler in March 2007. Many of those Food Lion colleagues still run with Todd today.
“[My colleagues and I] run a Blue Ridge relay every year in December,” Todd told Drug Store News, just before heading out to the Gaslamp District to “carb up” the night before the marathon. “There’s a team of 12 that go — the lion’s share of those guys are Food Lion associates that go with us.”
NACDS puts a new spin on Meet the Market
SAN DIEGO This year the National Association of Chain Drug Stores introduced two new features to its Meet the Market format. First, NACDS hosted a Meet the Market Presentation Template webinar twice prior to Meet the Market, in which NACDS introduced a meeting template that succinctly captured all of the information retailers typically use to evaluate a new product or company.
Also new to Meet the Market were the booths of 10 service companies — trade media and professional education, merchandising consultants and marketing/media information companies — which afforded an opportunity for new and smaller suppliers to meet with these organizations.
“New companies have a need not only to meet with retailers, obviously, they have a need for their business,” noted Jim Whitman, NACDS SVP meetings and conferences. Another ongoing improvement is the productivity within each meeting, Whitman added. “We keep refining the match, the appointments,” he said.
This year, the Meet the Market format — in which smaller and new suppliers have 10-minute meetings with their category buyers — represented more than 8,000 face-to-face pre-arranged appointments.
Retail clinic growth slowing down? Not a chance
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The news that Target is looking to expand its retail-based clinic business this year is yet one more indicator that reports of the demise of retail clinic growth have been greatly exaggerated.
(THE NEWS: Target to expand its retail clinic presence. For the full story, click here)
As the article states, Target, which opened its first clinic in 2006, is looking to open up eight new locations this September. It already operates 28 locations in Minnesota and Maryland.
It wasn’t so long ago — April to be exact — that CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic indicated that it could double its current number of clinics in five years.
Why the growth? Well, aside from the aging population and a shortage of primary care physicians, a major catalyst is healthcare reform, which will mean that 32 million people who currently are uninsured will have healthcare coverage. With emergency rooms already overflowing, and primary care physicians already over-extended, having a retail clinic nearby where patients can receive convenient, quality and affordable health care will only become increasingly important.
Meanwhile, RediClinic, which has 22 clinics in H-E-B stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, is cranking up its marketing efforts and has tapped former Duane Reade executive Jeff Thompson as VP marketing. Thompson will be responsible for RediClinic’s consumer and partner marketing activities, including developing and implementing strategic customer acquisition/retention programs, new product delivery and brand strategy.
Thompson most recently served as VP marketing for Duane Reade.
Clearly, there continues to be significant growth opportunities for clinics — both in terms of the number of clinic locations and the scope of services offered within the clinics. As mentioned earlier, there are 32 million reasons why the growth will be quite dramatic.