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CVS unveils high-end Beauty 360 store

BY Rob Eder

WASHINGTON —If anyone thinks that CVS has recast itself solely as a healthcare company, given its string of acquisitions in recent years, including Caremark and MinuteClinic, they certainly haven’t seen Beauty 360.

The chain’s hot new beauty concept was introduced Nov. 3 at a special unveiling at the chain’s newest Capitol district store, in the very center of Dupont Circle. In fact, depending upon which side of the store you are on, you may have a difficult time figuring out that you are in a CVS/pharmacy at all.

With a separate entrance onto busy Connecticut Avenue, Beauty 360 makes a major statement among the other shops that line the bustling shopping area. And it’s all about beauty. The store is lined with high-ticket department store and specialty skin care, cosmetics, men’s grooming and such fragrance brands as Borba, Ahara, Clarins, Elizabeth Arden and Juicy Couture, with price points as high as $140 or more for some items.

CVS executives believe that it will redefine the way that women shop for beauty, by putting a high-end, high-experience beauty concept right in the middle of the neighborhood.

“For us, it is all about the evolution of where we have been. We believe this is a natural next step,” Mike Bloom, senior vice president of merchandising, told Drug Store News. “We think about it as a pyramid where everybody plays at the bottom of the pyramid and everybody has entered into the game and everybody carries the same products. Then you see some retailers sort of moved out of that and into proprietary brands and then into [in-store skin care centers]. So we believe the next evolution is this concept.”

Beauty 360 adds on to the core CVS beauty offering, inviting trial among a new group of customers who may not have been purchasing these items in other channels, and perhaps saving other customers a separate trip to the department store. Located at the edge of the beauty quadrant of the store, breezeways at either end of the cosmetics wall invite customers to pass through into what is clearly a very different shopping experience.

The space—2,700 square feet in the Dupont Circle store, but ranging anywhere from 2,500 square feet, to 4,000 square feet—with blue-greenish seafoam and brushed metal accents throughout, is lit up like a stage, inviting a level of customer interaction that borders on retail-theater. Special Innovation Stations highlight product technology, while “Play Stations” allow for extensive product testing. Special beauty consultants are dedicated to the area, helping customers navigate product offerings and providing an array of services, including manicures and facials.

“It is really designed from a customer-experience perspective so our folks can help customers identify the products that work for them, so it is very experiential,” said Eileen Howard Dunn, senior vice president of corporate communications for CVS Caremark.

The new store in Dupont Circle, uses the space that would have gone to pharmacy to carve out the home for Beauty 360. Given that CVS operates several other stores within walking distance of the new store, the fact that the Beauty 360 location doesn’t have a pharmacy is less an inconvenience as much as a decided point of differentiation from any other retail pharmacy store in the district.

The next Beauty 360 location will open in early December in Mission Viejo, Calif.

CVS will promote Beauty 360 through direct mail and its ExtraCare loyalty program. Given the higher price points for the merchandise in Beauty 360, the 2 percent-back ExtraCare rewards offers something beyond just convenience for CVS to compete against the department and specialty stores. In addition, Beauty 360 customers will earn Beautiful You rewards, which can be redeemed for free Beauty 360 signature services.

But the major advantage that CVS will have over department store/specialty channel competitors, according to Bloom, is CVS’ real estate. The company estimated that more than 50 percent of the U.S. population lives within two miles of a CVS store, and the chain sees about 4 million customers a day. That adds up to an awful lot of opportunity to grow Beauty 360.

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Alimentary Health signs licensing agreement with P&G Pet Care

BY DSN STAFF

CORK, Ireland Alimentary Health on Wednesday announced that it has signed a worldwide licensing agreement with P&G Pet Care, makers of two of the worlds leading companion animal pet care products, Iams and Eukanuba.

Under the licensing agreement, Alimentary Health’s and P&G’s proprietary pet care probiotics will be used in P&G Pet Care’s nutritional supplement products. The global market for companion animal pet care products was estimated to be over $40 billion in 2007. Alimentary Health will receive an undisclosed royalty on sales of all products containing the pet care probiotics.

In 2001, Alimentary Health partnered with P&G to develop safe and effective probiotic products for gastrointestinal indications. In 2007, P&G Health Care started using Alimentary Health’s natural probiotic strain Bifidobacterium Infantis 35624, in Align in the US. Align is a daily probiotic supplement that helps build and maintain a strong and healthy digestive system.

“Today’s announcement comes as a result of our continued successful collaboration with P&G,” Barry Kiely, chief executive officer of Alimentary Health, said. “We are please that our ongoing efforts have once again resulted in Alimentary Health’s technology making it to the marketplace. This agreement is a result of a successful research and development program between the two companies and it brings us closer to fulfilling our vision of becoming the worldwide leader in the research, discovery and clinical development of probiotics. We are proud of our long standing association with such a leading multi-national company.”

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Kmart holds GoldK Day health services, screening day for seniors

BY Antoinette Alexander

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Kmart, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holding Corp., has announced that its pharmacy division will hold the annual GoldK Day on Nov. 18 for seniors.

“Kmart wants to remind seniors that we care about their health and GoldK Day is a way for our pharmacists to give back to these important customers by not only offering free screenings, but assistance with Medicare health plan selection and information about disease states, which can help seniors make better decisions about their healthcare,” Mark Doerr, vice president of Kmart pharmacy, said.

The activities planned for the event, to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all 1,100 Kmart pharmacy locations, include free blood pressure screenings, free memory screenings, Medicare health plan selection assistance and more.

No appointments are necessary. For more information, customers can all 800-866-0086 or visit www.kmart.com/pharmacy.

The initiatives are tied to the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, the annual initiative aimed at promoting early detection of memory problems and appropriate intervention.

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