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Drug Emporium veteran Frank Shanower, off-price merchant and mentor, dies at 71

BY Jim Frederick

CUMMING, Ga. Frank Shanower, an intuitive merchant, retail mentor and outsized personality who helped define the principles of deep-discount drug store retailing in his years with Drug Emporium, died Sept. 16. He was 71.

Shanower was VP vendor relations for Drug Emporium, a pioneering off-price drug chain that operated more than 230 corporate-owned and franchised stores in many major U.S. markets at its peak in the late 1980s. He joined the chain’s corporate headquarters during a reorganization and merger after running a franchised division of Drug Emporium in Atlanta, and helped propel the fast-growing company to short-lived dominance as the nation’s top deep-discount drug chain.

Shanower proved adept at applying the “stack it high, watch it fly” principles that defined deep discounting from the 1970s to the early 1990s, before intense competition and the ascendancy of Walmart brought a close to the off-price drug store concept in all but a few markets. (One standout exception is Cleveland-based Marc Glassman Inc., which continues to thrive in a strong niche.) Shanower was known as a skillful dealmaker, negotiating with a host of vendors for the best prices on large quantities of overstock and closeout merchandise that Drug Emporium would move in big volumes at discounted prices through its stores.

Among Shanower’s many fans and friends was Rich Landers, principle with Landers & Associates, a Worthington, Ohio-based brokerage firm that supplies drug stores, mass merchants, supermarkets and other retail outlets. Landers, who worked for five years in the 1980s with Shanower at Drug Emporium headquarters, remembered him as “a memorable character” and “motivator” who was “always upbeat and always positive” in his relations with colleagues and suppliers. “If I had to sum up, he was so unique and such a character, and every day was such an adventure with Frank,” Landers recalled. “He knew retail so well, and I learned a lot of things about retailing from him. And he was the one who really built that Atlanta franchise.”

Shanower is survived by his wife, Joyce Shanower of Cumming, Ga.; daughters and sons-in-law, Lori Klimach of Connecticut, Lisa Shanower of California (a former area sales representative for The Drug Store News Group), Alisa and Bruce Sedacca, Lee and Allie Webb, Ralph Klimach; sister, Bertie Gressman; and grandchildren, Michael Diamandakis, Hampton and Harper Webb, and Matt and Ben Sedacca.

In lieu of flowers the family suggested that a donation be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water program to aid Pakistan flood victims

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble’s not-for-profit program is teaming up with the U.S. State Department’s Pakistan Relief Fund.

P&G said its Children’s Safe Drinking Water program will provide 28 million PUR water treatment packets to help flood victims in Pakistan. The program utilizes PUR packets, a water-purifying technology developed by P&G and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to help reduce sickness and death resulting from drinking contaminated water. One small PUR packet quickly turns 10 liters of dirty, potentially deadly water into clean, drinkable water.

"P&G’s commitment to help in times of natural disasters is how we fulfill P&G’s purpose to touch and improve lives," said Bob McDonald, P&G chairman, president and CEO. "P&G is eager to bring clean drinking water to the people of Pakistan by partnering with USAID and the U.S. State Department’s Pakistan Relief Fund so that our many partners in Pakistan can provide more than a quarter of a billion liters of clean drinking water."

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Mintel: Whole grains gain momentum in food, beverage sector

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO More than 3,700 products boasting a "whole grain" claim have launched in the United States since 2005, according to a new report by Mintel.

Since 2005, the whole grain product claim consistently has been in the top 20 among all food and beverage claims, Mintel noted in its global new products database. Furthermore, the share of all products with whole grain claims consistently has risen since that time. In 2005, just 2.3% of all new product launches had a whole grain claim, whereas in 2010, this has grown to 5.6%. Many products with a whole grains claim are stamped by the Whole Grains Council, which has put its logo on more than 4,400 products in the United States and 20 other countries.

"While sales of these products are still small, there are a lot of good signs for the whole grain market," said Mintel senior analyst David Browne. "Nearly 6% of all food products and 18% of all-natural food products launched in 2010 have the whole grain claim. Innovations in unexpected places, including beverages and dairy products, will also drive sales."

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