HEALTH

Max-Wellness plans senior-facility stores

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Max-Wellness will open a prototype, small-format store at an assisted-living facility this spring, CEO Michael Feuer told Drug Store News.

Feuer could not disclose the facility’s location, but said it would be "economically high-end." The store will be 500 square feet and located in the lobby, similar to the health and wellness chain’s hospital stores, but slightly smaller and more open. A larger rollout of the so-called "satellite stores" is planned for later on.

The deal will also include a "Wellness-in-a-Box" vending machine at the other end of the campus, which can dispense health and wellness products. The Cleveland-based chain, which operates stores in Ohio and Florida, has already deployed the machines in other markets, such as Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

 

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Cirrus Healthcare Products launches new line of licensed AquaEars

BY Michael Johnsen

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. — Cirrus Healthcare Products will celebrate two decades of company success in 2013 with the launch of a new line of AquaEars, the company announced Wednesday. The soft silicone AquaEars ear plugs will now be available in a variety of licensed characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Disney and Hello Kitty. 

“Ear health is an enduring and growing consumer category, and we continue to create innovation and new product offerings to fill out the needs in this space,” stated Drew O’Connell, CEO Cirrus Healthcare Products. “We launched our company two decades ago with the pioneering EarPlanes ear plug for the reduction of ear pressure and discomfort during flight, and it remains a top seller. The new licensed and printed AquaEars lines … are an exciting addition to our product family for 2013, and will help reduce the noncompliance issue with children’s ear plugs.”

AquaEars offer dual protection, sealing out water and reducing ear discomfort due to water pressure, as well as reducing noise for sensitive ears with a noise reduction rating of 30.

 

 

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GNC marks mass retail for nationwide distribution of its ‘Marked’ portfolio

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC is ramping up its reach beyond its 6,100 retail outlets, Joe Fortunato, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, told analysts last week. The company’s relationship with Sam’s Club, which incorporated a branded shelf in July, is expanding; new products are being introduced to PetSmart, suggesting potential growth in pet supplements; and GNC’s Marked line, co-developed with action movie star Mark Wahlberg, has been launched through Rite Aid and Walgreens. 

And GNC plans to fold that Marked portfolio of products into all of mass retail, Fortunato said. "Our goal is to take that product line as broadly as we can," he said. "There is no limitation on where we want to take that product line — we’ve seen excitement from the drug channels so far [but] we’re also willing to go into the club business separately," he said. And it doesn’t stop with drug or club, Fortunato also noted that GNC was presently in discussions with a pair of mass retailers on picking up the Marked line, plans to round out distribution through drug and also fold the Marked line into grocery. "We’re trying to get as broad expansion on that line as possible."

And GNC is boosting awareness around its brand overall. GNC last month announced the launch of its new brand campaign, "Respect Yourself," and on Tuesday incorporated New York’s Martha Graham Dance Company into its marketing mix

To help drive that awareness campaign through new media outlets, GNC is presently in search of a new head of e-commerce, Fortunato said. "For the time being we have promoted somebody internally to the head of marketing [Jennifer Brinker was named SVP marketing]. And I’m going to stay deeply involved in marketing, as you know I was very involved in the Live Well campaign in 2010," he told analysts. 


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