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Magnacca’s expertise warrants a close look at DR’s innovations

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — In recent years, Duane Reade has gone from simply being Manhattan’s homegrown pharmacy chain to a truly innovative retailer with unique product offerings and marketing concepts that even the biggest retailers can learn from. And there’s no doubt that Joe Magnacca has been instrumental in the chain’s turnaround.


Magnacca, who joined Duane Reade in the second half of 2008 and was promoted from SVP and chief merchandising officer to president in July 2010, brought onboard a new level of merchandising expertise that resulted in such enhancements as expanded grocery and fresh foods; the DR Delish private brand; upscale beauty departments; the Duane Reader “magalogue” packed with exclusive products, bargains and tips; and the FlexRewards loyalty program that replaced the retailer’s Dollar Rewards.


Such innovation did not go unnoticed and Walgreens, which officially snapped up the chain for a cool $1 billion in April 2010, sees a lot of potential to apply Duane Reade’s “secret sauce” to the chain’s other 7,000-plus stores.

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CVS’ innovations far from ‘Just the Basics’ with Bloom at helm

BY DSN STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Looking for a merchant known for the ability to swiftly understand the big picture and move into action? Look no further than Mike Bloom of CVS/pharmacy.


This visionary merchant, who joined CVS as part of the People’s Drug Store acquisition in 1991 and was appointed SVP merchandising and supply chain in September 2009, is credited with giving rise to a number of concepts, including the “Life” store prototype initiative, which became the model for many other chain store makeovers. In more recent years, Bloom has had a significant hand in such innovations as the upscale Beauty360 format, as well as the Urban Cluster concept and a new private-label program.


In 2010, CVS took the wraps off its Urban Cluster store concept, which has a significant focus on consumables and is designed to be a convenient shopping destination for urban dwellers. Meanwhile, to take a leadership role in private label, the retailer has a brand new private-label program, Just The Basics, which represents a functional, value-priced, smart-simplicity positioning.

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Health Mart’s Canning makes good on goal to help indies compete

BY DSN STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO — For some guys, it’s just in their blood. That’s definitely the case for Tim Canning — you can say he was born into this business.


Canning, 1-of-8 children of the late, great Fred Canning — who, as president and COO of Walgreens during the late ’70s and ’80s, led a major turnaround of the company — is no doubt making his father incredibly proud these days, as he leads McKesson’s 2,700-plus-strong Health Mart stores, the fastest-growing pharmacy franchise operation in America.


Canning’s mission: to help a growing cadre of independent pharmacy operators compete against the big chains by operating more efficiently, building closer patient relationships and capturing additional revenue streams. Five years ago, it was a collection of just a few hundred stores. Today, the company has built a broad menu of clinically oriented health-and-wellness services for its customers, as well as a range of capabilities that give it some of the national branding, marketing and purchasing strengths of a corporate-owned chain.


Two strong examples of Health Mart’s “big chain” presence are a multimillion-dollar ad campaign that debuted in January 2010 during the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics, and the company’s annual Health Mart Healthy Living Tour, which visited 80 stores across 18 states last year.

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