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Cardinal Health introduces co-branding option with Medicine Shoppe, Medicap Pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health on Monday announced that independent pharmacies can now take advantage of opportunities to co-brand with the Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy franchising systems.
 
“Our new co-branding option brings the best of both worlds to independent pharmacy,” stated John Fiacco, VP Medicine Shoppe International. “Now, community pharmacies can continue to maintain the local store names their patients have come to know and trust, while also tapping into the equity and awareness of a national brand that’s synonymous with quality, personalized pharmacy care.”
 
Retail independent pharmacies that participate in this co-branded franchise opportunity will receive membership in Medicine Shoppe International’s Pharmacy Services Administration Organization and related managed care services to help them gain access to commercial, Medicare, long-term care, immunization and rural payer networks.
 
They will also have access to EQuIPP and LearnSomething, solutions that help community pharmacies track and measure their performance and comply with quality standards.
 
Participating pharmacies will also receive discounted access to a broad array of flexible, customizable business solutions that empower pharmacy owners to realize their unique vision, expand their business and help the people in their community live healthier lives. Those solutions include: 
 
  • Retail advantage: Solutions that help retail pharmacies maximize profitability and market themselves as the preferred destination for healthcare, wellness and convenience for their communities. Combining pricing and product management strategies with advertising, display and shipping programs, this suite of solutions helps pharmacy owners enhance the customer experience and increase revenue;
  • Wellness advantage: Cardinal Health offers a wide array of offerings designed to help independent pharmacies keep their communities healthy, from medication dispensing solutions and Medication Therapy Management solutions to diabetes support and immunization programs; and
  • Business advantage: Cardinal Health supports independent pharmacies with expertise and proactive solutions designed to help them protect their core business — the prescription.
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GfK: Good news for brick-and-mortar retailers, more consumers ‘webrooming’ than ‘showrooming’

BY Michael Johnsen

 

NEW YORK – The complex interplay between online and in-person shopping in the United States has tilted slightly in favor of bricks-and-mortar retailers, according to GfK’s 2014 FutureBuy global study of shopping habits and preferences released Monday. Incidents of smartphone “showrooming” — seeing a product in a store, then buying it online from another retailer using a smartphone — dropped from 37% in the United States last year to 28% in 2014. But “webrooming,” in which consumers buy in a store after researching a purchase online using a smartphone, was reported by an even higher proportion of respondents, 41%.
 
“The big takeaway from this year’s FutureBuy study is how dynamic the shopper environment has become,” said Joe Beier, EVP of GfK’s shopper and retail strategy team in North America. “We are seeing double-digit point changes in metrics designed to measure relatively foundational behaviors, such as omni-channel and devices used to shop. This volatility, combined with significant variability in shopper behavior by category and generation, makes it even more imperative that manufacturers and marketers build out an up-to-date and nuanced shopper insights platform, from which highly engaging and relevant programming can be developed," he said. "Without these insights, brands are simply in ‘hit-or-miss’ mode in execution; and, given how fast this space is moving, that is not going to be a formula for marketplace success going forward.”
 
Use of a smartphone or tablet to “webroom” topped “showrooming” on those devices by 12 to 14 percentage points among Baby Boomers (30% webrooming, 18% showrooming) and Generations X (43% and 29%, respectively) and Y (46% and 32%, respectively). Only Generation Z (34% and 39%, respectively) preferred showrooming — and not by much.
 
Across 15 product and service categories studied, 44% of U.S. shoppers reported combining online and in-person shopping activities — a jump of 7 percentage points versus 2013. Once limited primarily to “big ticket” purchases, this “omni-channel” behavior is surging in even lower-priced categories such as beauty and personal care (reported by 39% of U.S. shoppers), lawn and garden (29%), and food and beverage (22%).
 
The largest U.S. increases in omni-channel shopping came in home improvement (57%, up 19 points from 2013), auto (also 57%, up 14 points) and OTC medications (27%, up 12 points).
 
U.S. shoppers who decided to make their purchases in a brick-and-mortar environment were motivated by key differentiators such as “see and feel before buying” (58% prefer brick and mortar, versus 9% online), “get products sooner” (53% versus 16%), and “hassle-free returns” (35% versus 10%). When online was the preferred purchase venue, attributes such as “save money” (61% versus 28%), “easier” (53% versus 24%) and “better selection” (46% versus 16%) were deciding factors.
 
Though PCs and laptops still account for the lion’s share of online research and purchases, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are playing a growing role. Internet shopping via a traditional home computer (PC or laptop) dropped from 78% to 63% in the U.S. in just one year, while use of mobile devices doubled from 8% to 15% for smartphones, and 5% to 10% for tablets.
 
Rises in smartphone shopping were more dramatic among Generations Z and Y, while tablets recorded significant upticks with Generation X and Boomers. Tablets have very consistent (though currently lower) usage for shopping across generations, while smartphones clearly skew younger.
 

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Family Dollar establishes record date for the special meeting of stockholders to approve Dollar Tree transaction

BY Michael Johnsen

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores on Monday announced that Oct. 30 has been established as the record date for the special meeting of stockholders to approve the Dollar Tree transaction.
 
However, Family Dollar has not yet announced the time and location of the special meeting. 
 
"The company expects to do so, and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus for the special meeting will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in due course," Family Dollar stated. 
 
 
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