RETAIL NEWS

Kroger addresses shifting competitive landscape

BY Michael Johnsen

Across the supermarket competitive landscape, pharmacy remains a key component of Kroger’s overall offering and the company plans to strengthen that offering looking forward, Mike Schlotman, Kroger executive vice president and CFO, told investors at last week’s Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2018 Consumer & Retail Technology Conference.

“[Kroger’s] script count, ID script count and total script count, continues to grow nicely,” Schlotman said. “It’s a very important part of our business [and] our team has done a great job. There are some things they’re working on to make the business even better. That’s actually some of the work that’s [been] submitted as part of the Restock Kroger Plan.”

Schlotman noted that the combination of Albertsons and Rite Aid may make for a sharper competitor overall, though Kroger is up to the challenge. “They’re good operators. Bob [Miller] has a great track record; John [Standley] has a great track record,” he said, noting both were at the helm of Fred Meyer when that operation was bought by Kroger. “We like our market position today relative to a lot of competitors.”

While not in the pharmacy business, one new competitor to the supermarket competitive landscape that Schlotman is keeping an eye on is Lidl, despite that grocer’s slow start in the U.S. “We spent a lot of time before Lidl came to the United States, going to almost every European country where they operated, actually sitting down with the management teams of the traditional supermarket operators in those markets to understand what worked, what didn’t work and what they would have done differently,” he said. “A lot of those strategies is what we’ve deployed when [Lidl] started opening their first stores in the mid-Atlantic region.”

Kroger earlier this month reported a total annual sales net increase of 6.4% to $122.7 billion in 2017 compared to $115.3 billion in 2016. Kroger is targeting identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, to range from 1.5% to 2% in 2018. http://migratedev.drugstorenews.com/retail-news/kroger-posts-annual-sales-gains-6-4-122-7-billion/

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Food Lion’s CIAA basketball sponsorship nets 24,000 meals

BY Michael Johnsen

For the past 24 years, Food Lion has served as the exclusive food and retail sponsor of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament as well as the title sponsor of the women’s tournament, which were both held ealier this month at the Spectrum Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

“We are always excited about our partnership with the CIAA because in addition to athletics this week-long event recognizes and celebrates education, wellness, community service and diversity and inclusion,” Benny Smith, manager of media and community relations, Food Lion, said. “We were honored to support CIAA students, fans and customers through scholarships and sponsored activities.”

The 2018 tournament also showcased Food Lion’s media savvy with a record-breaking 2.9 million social, broadcast and print media impressions, including a 200% increase in coverage of the #BallinOnHunger campaign. As part of the campaign, Food Lion restocked on-campus pantries of CIAA colleges and universities and – thanks to the success of #BallinOnHunger – will donate 24,000 meals to local food banks in the 12 communities surrounding CIAA schools.

Further, Food Lion, a division of Ahold Delhaize, has donated more than $4.5 million toward CIAA scholarships since 2003 and additionally employs many CIAA students and alumni through its Retail Management Trainee Program.

“Our work with the CIAA is an important part of our community outreach every year,” Smith said. “It’s a great relationship.”

 

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Walgreens educates Dallas teens through #ItEndsWithUs campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens on Tuesday announced its #ItEndsWithUs campaign is coming to Dallas to educate local teens on the opioid epidemic.

As part of We Day Texas at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, thousands of local students will hear real stories of addiction and how Walgreens is taking action to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. The #ItEndsWithUs campaign objective is to provide teens with resources and positive steps they can take in their community, which are all available at Walgreens’ #ItEndsWithUs hub.

The campaign will feature actor Brandon Larracuente from the Netflix popular series “13 Reasons Why” and “Bloodline.” Larracuente, who lost a close friend to opioid addiction, will speak via video message to introduce to a local Texan, Adelle Buede, who overcame her addiction and is now working with Walgreens to raise awareness.

“I’m proud to work with Walgreens to raise awareness and educate teens on opioid misuse and abuse,” said Adelle Buede, Addiction Campuses Treatment Specialist. “Through their #ItEndsWithUs campaign, teens can find tools and resources to take action in their community. Together, with Walgreens, we can take the first step to end the opioid epidemic.”

Buede will speak about Walgreens safe medication disposal program that began in 2016. Safe medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, year-round at no cost. Kiosks are available in more than 50 Walgreens pharmacies in Texas during regular pharmacy hours and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else. Most people who misuse prescription drugs first obtain them from a family member or friend, often from a home medicine cabinet.

Walgreens will continue to raise awareness around the opioid epidemic at upcoming WE Day events in 2018, with the help of Larracuente engaging teens across the country.

As part of its comprehensive national plan to combat drug abuse, Walgreens has made naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, available without a prescription in all of its 700 pharmacies in Texas, in accordance with state pharmacy regulations. Naloxone can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of heroin or other opioid drugs, and is administered by injection or nasal spray.

Walgreens has also installed safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 of its pharmacies across 45 states and is in the process of expanding its program to an additional 900 Walgreens drugstores across the country. When the expansion is complete, safe medication disposal kiosks will be available in 1,500 Walgreens locations nationwide.

Following WE Day Texas, Walgreens will continue to create awareness on the opioid epidemic at WE Days in Los Angeles on April 19, 2018; Chicago on April 25, 2018; and Seattle on May 3, 2018. These new markets follow the campaign’s launch at WE Day UN at Madison Square Garden in September 2017.

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