News

DSN takes lead from ‘King of All Media’

BY Rob Eder



It appears that even the “King of All Media” Howard Stern gets his news from Drug Store News. Traffic on the site spiked in late December when a DrugStoreNews.com story made it into Stern sidekick Robin Quivers’ daily news broadcast during the Thursday, Dec. 16 show. The Stern Web page also linked to the story under the “It’s Time for Robin’s News” section in the rundown for the satellite radio program’s show (“Use lanolin on your cracked nipples” at HowardStern.com/Rundown.hs).


The DSN article, “Study: Lansinoh HPA Lanolin may reduce nipple pain among breast-feeding mothers,” focused on a recent study that found that women who breast-feed experienced a significant reduction in nipple pain and higher healing rates of nipple trauma when they used a topical application of Lansinoh’s HPA Lanolin.


Thousands of Stern fans, in addition to regular DSN Group online users, logged on to DrugStoreNews.com to learn more about Lansinoh’s study. As of press time, the story remained the No. 1 story on DrugStoreNews.com.


The whole event speaks volumes to the reach of The Drug Store News Group and its power to extend a message to a wider group of potential influencers. This is just another example of DSN’s ability to help you grow your brand.


OK — so, obviously, Howard Stern is not a Drug Store News subscriber. Neither is Robin Quivers. I checked — neither of them gets the magazine. I know that the Howard Stern-
Lansinoh story is a bit of an anomaly. But not really — not if you know anything about search engine optimization and how information is disseminated online. And if you know anything at all about Howard Stern, it should come as no surprise that Quivers uses such key words as “nipple” and “breasts” in her various news-alert profiles — that’s half the show right there.


How do we know it made a difference for Lansinoh? Because Lansinoh told us so. The company’s phones and the website were jamming in the days leading into the New Year.


It reminds me of another story about Lansinoh and Drug Store News. About five years ago, senior editor Michael Johnsen wrote a story for his OTC page about the growth in the natural feeding category, and one company that pretty much owned the business — Lansinoh. As the story goes, the CEO of one of the biggest chains in the industry ripped that page out of the issue, circled the article and sent it to the category manager responsible for that business with a handwritten note: “What are we doing to make this a destination at [our chain]?”


Howard Stern had nothing to do with that. We had almost 90,000 visits at DrugStoreNews.com in the month of January. I guess that means for this industry, DSN is the King of All Media.

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Loyalty program under Montini’s tenure is a big plus for Rite Aid

BY DSN STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Tony Montini returned to Rite Aid just in time to help leverage what is becoming a very powerful Wellness+ loyalty card program that has cracked the code for the chain in terms of tying the front-end to the back bench by way of the patient. 


And while Montini returns to the retail ranks as SVP category management, he is well-prepared to make Wellness+ work gangbusters with the supplier community. His background is in corporate marketing with advertising agency Marc USA, where he was EVP and COO. 


Wellness+ launched nationally two months into Montini’s tenure. The scorecard thus far: 29 million members, 70% utilization across a front-end that realized a 1.3% comparable sales lift in November and 64% utilization across prescriptions filled (excluding New York and New Jersey). 


And all of that within the first eight months of the program. Bottom line: Wellness+ retains and attracts good customers, both on the front end and across the pharmacy.

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Pugh’s customer-centric approach boosts Walgreens’ momentum

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. — A veteran of Walmart and Tesco, Walgreens VP merchandising Bryan Pugh brought a more analytical and customer-targeted approach to front-end merchandising. His oft-stated mission: to oversee, in coordination with the company’s Customer Centric Retailing initiative and other renewal efforts, a more cost-effective and more compelling merchandising strategy.


“It goes without saying that we need to be smarter with our inventory dollars,” Pugh told Drug Store News. “There’s not a single retailer in the United States that’s worth their salt if they’re not working on increasing their turns and decreasing their stock days and inventory.”


Applying the analytical tools driving CCR, Pugh led a front-end makeover that pared thousands of slower-turning and redundant SKUs, beefed up new and expanding areas, and championed such initiatives as expanded fresh food assortments and beer and wine in targeted locations, a beauty aisle makeover and more private-brand items. The results speak for themselves. In recent months, Walgreens has regained sales and earnings momentum while shedding inventory costs.

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