Lewis format features expanded Rx, versatile ‘four-seasons’ space
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — While pharmacy obviously continues to be an important part of the business, Lewis Drug — which has larger store footprints of 40,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. — is placing an even greater emphasis on the front end, said Mark Griffin, president and CEO of the 33-store chain.
Aside from expanding into home decor and enhancing its electronics and beer-and-wine divisions, the Midwest retailer also has expanded its grocery departments in about a dozen locations. In its larger stores, about 2,000 sq. ft. to 3,000 sq. ft. has been dedicated to grocery items with a concentration on snack foods, grab-and-go items and frozen foods.
However, those who have visited the newly opened store on Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls, S.D., undoubtedly will see the “new face” of Lewis Drug, Griffin said. This new store includes a “four-seasons department,” a 4,000-sq.-ft. environmentally controlled room that can be used for various purposes throughout the year. For example, in the winter months, it can be used to display live Christmas trees that will be kept at 45 degrees, and in the spring, it can be used as a garden shop.
This new location also features a walk-in cooler that runs about 100 linear ft. and houses a range of beverages and adult beverages, including mini-kegs and chilled wines.
The pharmacy area is about one-third larger than a typical Lewis Drug pharmacy and has been revamped with plank flooring, lifestyle images and a waiting area with TVs and refreshments.
The beauty department — or rather, beauty boutique — has undergone a facelift to give it a more upscale look and feel with upscale merchandising displays and wooden plank flooring.
Kerr Drug sustains its innovator reputation … ‘Naturally’
RALEIGH, N.C. — Kerr Drug, North Carolina’s regional pharmacy power, had a busy year in 2010. After shedding 11 stores in the Charleston, S.C., market in 2009, the 90-store chain turned its full focus to serving the healthcare needs of North Carolina’s population.
It was, in retrospect, a wise move. Kerr has launched a series of initiatives in pharmacy care, store design, community health services and iPhone technology at a breathtaking pace, easily sustaining its reputation as one of chain pharmacy’s leading innovators.
Those innovations are coming both from the pharmacy and clinical-care side of the business, and from the front-end merchandising effort, led by SVP marketing and merchandising Bill Baxley. Key architect of Naturally Kerr, a “store-within-a-store” format that offers natural and organic foods and homeopathic remedies, Baxley is a leader in the chain’s ongoing store renewal project, which has led to constant evolution in store design and development of a groundbreaking hybrid store that blends Kerr’s Community Healthcare Center concept with a full-service drug store, including a front end with improved sightlines and lower gondolas.
The effort may lead to the debut of a new store format in 2011, a company source indicated.
Kerr’s healthcare innovations remain unrivalled. In partnership with the University of North Carolina, Kerr conducted a pilot study that demonstrated the health and cost-saving benefits of pharmacist-delivered interventions and medication therapy management. It also continues to attract recognition for its community care efforts in diabetes management, smoking cessation, disease prevention, pharmacogenomics and other areas.
Indy franchisees a model of pharmacy ‘Care’ in nation’s capital
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — It’s a 53-store collection of independents that serves as a model of neighborhood pharmacy to the nation’s lawmakers. That’s in part thanks to the number of Care pharmacies operating in the nation’s capital and in part due to the franchisee-owned group’s proximity to the headquarters of the National Community Pharmacist Association, which is located across the hall.
“[That proximity] really is an opportunity for us to represent independent pharmacy,” said Michael Wysong, Care CEO.
Looking forward, Care continues to target growth of 30% on top of the group’s purchasing volume each year. With an estimated 2009 sales volume of $215 million, Care will be bringing on several new franchisee/owners in New Jersey and Pennsylvania early in 2011. “The interest in Care is really starting to stretch outside of our normal boundaries of Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and Northern Virginia,” Wysong said.
Also within the Care family is a strong specialty pharmacy vibe. Care has been the exclusive administrator of Washington’s DC AIDS Drug Assistance Program contract for the past eight years. In addition, many Care pharmacies pursue various specialty pharmacy disciplines — some of the largest fertility pharmacies in the country operate under the Care banner, for example.