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Kroger names pharma vet to government affairs post

BY Michael Johnsen

Kroger last week named Matt Perin head of government relations and regulatory affairs.

“Matt’s involvement and relationships with leaders in Washington will help advance our federal and state lobbying efforts and elevate Kroger’s unique story among these influential stakeholders,” Keith Dailey, Kroger’s senior director of external affairs, said. “We look forward to having Matt’s expertise on the ground in Washington.”

Perin will be based in Washington, D.C. and will be responsible for Kroger’s federal government relations efforts, including working closely with the company’s supermarket operating divisions and other subsidiaries to counsel and guide state and local advocacy activities.

Perin previously served as deputy director of government relations for the Bayer Corporation. Before joining Bayer, he was staff director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Nutrition & Horticulture. He has also served as a Congressional legislative assistant and political campaign manager. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati.

 

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Downtown Brooklyn home to new upmarket pharmacy boutique

BY Michael Johnsen

A hip area in downtown Brooklyn is now home to an eye-catching new pharmacy design that features a high-end optical service and a boutique apothecary-style offering.

i+care Pharmacy opened in December in downtown Brooklyn. The store represents a high-end feel that targets a rapidly-developing and evolving upmarket audience across from Macy’s, adjacent to Fulton Mall and nearby City Point.

Focusing on an aesthetic experience and customer service, the upscale, custom design by studioBIG conveys a clean, modern aesthetic. Whites and blues create a cool, hygienic-looking palette, while touches of wood provide warmth and a nod to the pharmacy’s natural, organic focus.

From the outside, custom signage and a striking optical department draws clients into a long space featuring optical displays and service in the front and the pharmacy in the back. Visual cues, like distinctive blue and white floor tiles and floating white ceiling planes, lead visitors through the space. The pattern of the floor tiles continues onto the optical display cases and pharmacy desk to draw attention to points of customer service.

To develop a fully custom look within an efficient budget, studioBIG derived the flower and cross logo and pattern from the stock Cement Tile Shop floor tile. The pattern was carried throughout the space in restrained but impactful touches—on backlit cases, wallpaper, signage and wall graphics, and on the design of the pharmacy’s business cards.

All pharmacy shelving was dropped to no higher than eye level to maintain visual connection from the front of the store to the back. The L-shaped floor plan allows for back-of-house pharmacy space to be hidden from view.

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WBA names new managing director for Boots

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens Boots Alliance on Friday named Sebastian James senior vice president and president and managing director of Boots. He will join the company in the summer of 2018 and take up his new role at the beginning of the new fiscal year on Sept. 1.

Elizabeth Fagan, who has led Boots since June 2016, will continue to work with the company and will take on the newly created role of non-executive chairman of Boots in the new fiscal year.

James will report to Alex Gourlay, co-COO for Walgreens Boots Alliance.

“We are delighted that Sebastian will join our company at an equally exciting and challenging time for the retail environment in the U.K. and for the future development of Boots, a brand synonymous with pharmacy and care,” Gourlay said. “We are sure his deep retail expertise will drive significant progress and innovation at Boots for the benefit all our stakeholders. I also want to warmly thank Elizabeth who has been leading the business very successfully for the last 18 months or so, and in her over 11 years with the company has made an invaluable contribution. She will continue to do so in her next role.”

James comes to Boots from Dixons Carphone, Europe’s leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company, where he has served as group chief executive since 2014. Previously, he was CEO Synergy Insurance Services and Silverscreen Holdings. James started his career in management consulting with The Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company.

“I am very excited to be joining Walgreens Boots Alliance at this time in its history, and to have been offered the privilege of leading Boots, surely one of the U.K.’s most iconic, venerable and trusted brands,” James said. “At a time of unprecedented change in both the retail and healthcare markets, to build on the fantastic work that the team has done over the last few years, and to be a part of the next chapter for this great company is an extraordinary opportunity.”

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