Incoming NACDS chairman John Standley of Rite Aid takes stage at Annual Meeting, emphasizes partnership
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Taking the stage as the newly elected National Association of Chain Drug Stores chairman during Tuesday morning’s business program at NACDS Annual in Scottsdale, Ariz., Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley stressed the value NACDS provides its members and emphasized the importance of partnership throughout the industry.
“This is a critical point in time for the chain drug industry. Healthcare delivery is undergoing historic change, placing unprecedented demands on our business while presenting enormous opportunities to grow,” Standley said after accepting the gavel from Bob Narveson, president and CEO of Thrifty White Pharmacy, who concluded his one-year term as NACDS chairman. “As our individual companies deal with these dramatic changes, my objective today is to ensure that everyone — especially our associate members — understands and appreciates the valuable role that NACDS plays in helping us navigate this new healthcare landscape.”
Incoming NACDS chairman John Standley accepts the gavel from Bob Narveson, president and CEO of Thrifty White Pharmacy, who concluded his one-year term as NACDS chairman
In outlining some of the opportunities facing the industry, Standley talked about how Rite Aid, for example, is focused on transforming the company from a traditional drug store chain into a retail healthcare company.
“Those are carefully selected words — retail healthcare company. Other chains here would state their mission in similar terms. These words reflect the expanded role that community pharmacy is already playing through expanded services like immunizations, retail clinics and medication therapy management,” Standley said. “But these words also reflect a vision for the future that redefines what a drug store can be and how we can find new ways to provide care beyond prescriptions.”
Standley discussed how the rapidly changing healthcare environment has forced pharmacy retailers to think differently about core business models, and how to best support the needs of customers and patients.
At Rite Aid, for example, this has resulted in the Rite Aid Health Alliance program, which provides one-on-one interventions with patients.
“What is unique about this program is how pharmacists, in-store care coaches and local physicians work together to support the patient in achieving his or her wellness goals. This team-oriented approach provides additional support to patients between doctor’s visits and further motivates them in taking steps to improve their health,” Standley said.
Aside from emphasizing company initiatives that include partnerships with other local healthcare providers, Standley also noted partnerships with suppliers of pharmacy and front-end products.
Standley said that NACDS is “leading the way in educating policy-makers about the expanded role of community pharmacy and making sure that our voice is heard during key policy debates. … And if you think about it, these issues fall into one of two categories: maintaining our current business model for pharmacies and setting the stage for our business model of the future.”
He described NACDS efforts to advocate for fair Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement, for “provider status” for pharmacists and for improved access to medication therapy management services, among other issues.
Beyond government affairs, Standley described the value of NACDS meetings and conferences to the industry’s evolution, such as the Regional Chain Conference in February, the Annual Meeting and the Total Store Expo in August. Also, later in the year, there’s NACDS Week in New York City.
During his remarks, Standley acknowledged Caitlin Pappas, VP, U.S. consumer sales, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Cos., who supported and also spoke at Tuesday morning’s NACDS Annual Meeting business program.
During her presentation, Pappas shared some of the struggles and learnings that J&J has encountered in this new healthcare environment.
“What we’ve learned is, first and foremost, hire someone who really understands the Affordable Care Act and use them to rip it apart and help you find opportunities to grow your business and improve health outcomes in the United States. … Be open to new ideas for Millennials; they are a big consumer group who want very different things to improve their healthcare. And technology is great, particularly if it can save consumers time and increase healthcare compliance,” Pappas said.
Steve Anderson of NACDS talks with former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Wrapping up Tuesday’s program was a keynote address by former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who also served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and chairman of the House Budget Committee.
New Tic Tac mints evoke summertime memories
SOMERSET, N.J. — Tic Tac mints, a brand from the Ferrero Co., on Tuesday announced the debut of limited edition Summer Ice Pop Tic Tac mints. The combination of blue berry-flavored pills, red cherry-flavored pills and white lime-flavored pills aims to offer consumers a nostalgic reminder of summertime, the company said.
“We’re excited to launch this new, unexpected flavor that brings back a lot of great memories for our fans,” said Todd Midura, marketing director for Tic Tac mints at Ferrero U.S.A. “The new Summer Ice Pop Tic Tac mints capture the refreshing taste of a classic summer treat and give us a chance to create new memories.”
To celebrate the latest flavor, the brand will treat fans and followers of the Tic Tac USA Facebook and Twitter pages with free sample. The brand also will take to the streets of a few major cities this summer to share samples.
Summer Ice Tic Tac mints can be purchased at select convenience and grocery stores for a limited time throughout the summer season.
Survey: Consumer confidence rising across all age groups
CHICAGO — Consumer confidence increased dramatically in first quarter 2014, according to a recent MarketPulse survey from IRI. All age groups are reporting a more positive outlook — especially millennials. A distressed consumer segment since the economic downturn began, this age group is showing the greatest rise in confidence.
“The headline for the first quarter is definitely the surge in consumer confidence,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership at IRI. “Consumers say they are feeling more confident about their household finances and don’t feel like they need to sacrifice as much in order to make ends meet. However, it’s important to remember that consumers are still entrenched in their conservative shopping strategies, so CPG marketers still need to work at finding pockets of opportunities.”
The survey also touched on shopping strategies: consumers continue to remain comfortable with shopping patterns they adopted during the downturn. Seventy percent of consumers make a shopping list before they even step foot inside a store, and 75% make their purchasing decisions before entering. IRI noted that these figures haven’t shifted since 2011.
Since 19% of all consumers (and 26% of millennials) have trouble affording groceries, shoppers are still on the lookout for a good deal. Thirty-three percent of all consumers and 40% of millennials buy more than one-half of their goods "on deal."
How are they getting the deals? It should come as no surprise that consumers are flocking to the internet to scope things out:
- Twenty-nine percent download coupons from retailers’ websites;
- Twenty-nine percent download coupons from a manufacturer’s website;
- Twenty-five percent of consumers research products on website;
- Ninteen percent go to online deal sites like Groupon and SmartSource; and
- Eleven percent head over to social media platforms like Twitter to get coupons.
“While it’s great that sentiment is on the rise, marketers must stay on top of their game and continue to deliver solid value that enables consumers to live well while remaining conservative,” Viamari said. “The diversity of this quarter’s survey results clearly demonstrates there is no single path to recovery, and marketing strategies must recognize and reward the variability out in the marketplace.”