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Fred’s paring its merchandising mix to favor pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar will be exiting a number of front-end categories — including footwear, televisions/home theater and select home furnishings — in an effort to expand seasonal, health, beauty, pharmacy and OTC, in line with reconfiguration plan strategies, Fred’s CFO Jerry Shore told analysts Thursday. 

For Fred’s, it’s all about building out its pharmacy business. "By exiting these product lines, the company will better tailor its health and beauty care products to be more reflective of a pharmacy’s product offering," explained Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. "In stores without pharmacy exiting these product lines will make much needed space available for ongoing automotive and hardware expansion plans."

In 2013, Fred’s reconfigured 322 locations and boosted its pharmacy footprint from 346 to 355 locations. By the end of its fiscal 2014 first quarter, 53% of stores will feature a pharmacy offering and by the end of the year, 56% of stores will host a pharmacy, noted Efird. 

"As we continue to accelerate our pharmacy presence, we are further leveraging our pharmacy department by tailoring our general merchandise mix towards our pharmacy customers in stores with pharmacies," Efird said. "We will be retrofitting 80 stores in the first half of 2014 with the reconfiguration program as well. The results of reconfiguration continues to be positive, with comparative sales of retrofitted stores realizing a 1.6% comp gain over the chain store average."

 

 

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Performance Health a sponsor of the March 2014 Run It Forward tour

BY Michael Johnsen

AKRON, Ohio — Performance Health recently sponsored the March 2014 Run It Forward tour, the company announced Wednesday. A donation of Biofreeze, TheraBand, Cramer and Perform products supported the elite runners’ training, performance and recovery needs during the 15-day event. Run It Forward helps educate America’s underserved youth on the benefits of staying physically and mentally healthy, and the resulting impact it can have on their education.

“Run It Forward brings together amazing people who are passionate about health, fitness and the well-being of kids. We are extremely proud of this unique running event that showcases the benefits of staying healthy,” stated RIF participant Mike Cicero of the Wellfit Group. “We also take pride in being an organization that is run 100% by volunteers. This means that all of the monies invested go directly to raising awareness and resources for underserved schools." 

Focused on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the RIF tour impacted schools that were pummeled by Hurricane Katrina and have yet to recover. The 1,500 mile trek began on March 2 in Orlando, Fla. and finished at Port Isabelle, Texas on March 16. Each day, after individually running between eight and 18 miles, the Run It Forward team stopped at underserved schools and presented an assembly on empowerment and wellness with the message of “I’m possible vs. impossible”. Inspirational presentations were given by Run It Forward founder, former Oakland Raiderette and ultra runner Erika Small; motivational speaker, author and ultra runner Jason Harper; and Grammy nominated rock star from the band Papa Roach and RIF participant Jacoby Shaddix. Following the assembly, the team hosted a 3K Fun Run for the students and provided the schools with a self-contained after school program called Project FIT.

 

 

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Avella Specialty Pharmacy CEO to be keynote speaker at AMCP’s Specialty Pharmacy Conference 2014

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX — Rebecca Shanahan, CEO of Avella Specialty Pharmacy, will be the keynote speaker at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s Specialty Pharmacy Conference 2014, Avella announced Wednesday. 

Shanahan will open the conference with a session on the optimal roles of payers, patients, specialty pharmacies and manufacturers in driving improved health outcomes. She will also reveal how payers and providers can best harness the unique “connector” capabilities of specialty pharmacies to engage patients, promote medication compliance and drive greater self-management of chronic health conditions. Shanahan will illustrate these capabilities through real-world examples and clinical best practices aligned with hepatitis-C and oncology treatment plans, Avella reported.

The theme of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s Specialty Pharmacy Conference, which takes place April 1 to 2, is “Integrating the Pharmacy and Medical Benefit.” The conference will be held during the first two days of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s Annual Meeting & Expo in Tampa, Florida.

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