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HRG eliminates space constraints with wall-mountable planogram

BY Michael Johnsen

Hamacher Resource Group developed an innovative solution to help a local community pharmacy group, Hayat Pharmacy, improve the shoppability of their stores that have minimal front end space.

The Waukesha, Wis.-based firm helped Hashim Zaibak, owner of Hayat Pharmacy, and his team find a way to offer patients a broader array of health and wellness products than could be physically stocked in the space available. HRG custom-developed a large format, wall-mountable planogram for each store, depicting images of the products as they would appear on shelf, organized by category, for customer selection.

“Hashim is a forward-thinking pharmacist and business owner that is genuinely dedicated to serving the community,” Dave Wendland, vice president, strategic relations and member of the owners group at Hamacher Resource Group, said. “His willingness to tackle a problem that some would just accept as unsolvable because of existing limitations, speaks to his drive to provide a more well-rounded wellness offering to his customers.”

HRG category analysts conducted research to find an appropriate product assortment for each location so Hayat pharmacists could then hand-select the items to meet the needs of the location’s patrons as well as include items they most often recommend. The large-format planogram is accompanied by a guide with product details that the pharmacists may use including item ingredients, directions and warnings. The products depicted in the planogram are kept in stock at the location, behind the pharmacy counter. HRG has created large-format planograms for three Hayat locations, and will complete them for several additional Hayat pharmacies by the end of 2018.

Zaibak approached HRG in early 2017 with the goal of meeting the consumer healthcare needs of his customers of these smaller format stores, as well as improving front-end sales.

“I’m very proud of our HRG category team and their collaboration with Hayat to come up with the right-sized departments, optimal product assortment and then merchandise the ‘shelves’ to make it easy for shoppers to navigate. Hayat customers have had a positive reaction to the large-format planograms, so much so that after our single-store test, Hayat management told us that ‘all their pharmacies want one,’” Wendland said.

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Food Lion, Hannaford expected to gain market share this year

BY Michael Johnsen

Ahold Delhaize on Wednesday reported that fourth quarter sales performance at Ahold USA was in line with the previous quarter, with comparable sales growth of 0.6% (excluding gasoline). Market share is expected to be stable compared to last year. Giant Carlisle reported a strong quarter, with new Beer & Wine locations driving increased transactions.

At Delhaize America, comparable sales grew by 1.5%, with both Food Lion and Hannaford reporting positive comparable sales growth, and market share is expected to increase compared to last year. Food Lion continued to benefit from the roll-out of the “Easy, Fresh and Affordable” program in the Charlotte market last year and the Richmond and Greensboro markets this year.

These are the first quarterly results of the collective Ahold and Delhaize banners under the direction of CEO Kevin Holt. Ahold Delhaize last month named Kevin Holt CEO of its newly minted Ahold Delhaize USA division, which will serve as the parent company for all of Ahold Delhaize’s U.S. companies, including its local brands, Stop & Shop, Food Lion, Giant, Hannaford, Giant/Martin’s and Peapod.

“I’m excited that we are moving into this next phase where we can focus on further strengthening our brands and winning in our markets,” Holt said in December. “Ahold Delhaize USA and its U.S. brands are well positioned to continue to drive growth and innovation and meet the evolving needs of customers, both in stores and online.”

The newly merged grocers certainly move fast. Giant Food earlier this month was named the best grocer in Pennsylvania, Food Lion has instituted delivery in almost one-third of its store base and Hannaford launched a new loyalty program focused on boosting its own brand penetration.

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From this angle: What Toys ‘R Us’ recent closures signal

BY Seth Mendelson

Toys ‘R Us did something that had to be done. The beleaguered chain, now in bankruptcy protection and pretty much directionless, announced on Tuesday that it was shuttering about 180 stores across the country.

That should have caught no one by surprise and expect more closely in coming months and years as it tries to survive against more adept competitors, both digital and traditional.

But the real news here is that Toys ‘R Us officials have finally figured out that their decision nearly 30 years ago to create Babies ‘R Us was a short-term gain that resulted in a long-term loss. In the company’s glory days—also when everything from diapers to toys were sold under one roof—the company was able to get consumers into the store for their lower-margin baby needs and upsell them on higher-margin toys and games.

Creating two separate companies took away that advantage. Now, leadership is putting the two divisions back together—where possible—again, hoping to re-create the synergies between babies, older children and their moms.

A step in the right direction, but it may just be a decade or two too late. Time will tell if Toys ‘R Us will survive.

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