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NACDS beats drums for TSE 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

DENVER — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 2012 Pharmacy & Technology Conference, which kicked off on Saturday at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver and runs through Tuesday night, will be the last.

But there’s no need to break out the tissues because it’s not going way. Instead, the retail pharmacy trade group is rolling the Pharmacy, Marketplace and Supply Chain & Logistics conferences into a single show starting next year.

Dubbed the Total Store Expo, the show will take place between Aug. 10-13, 2013 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. The show will bring together an estimated 250 retail companies and 700 suppliers. “We took a look, and it became evident that this is a total store opportunity,” NACDS SVP member programs and services Jim Whitman said in a roundtable-style press conference with reporters Saturday afternoon. “The format is going to be a combination of the best of what we’ve seen from all the shows.”

The move to co-locate the three events under one roof is a reflection of the way more NACDS members — both chain and associate — are doing business these days. Frequently, merchandising, marketing and supply chain executives are meeting in concert to discuss not just buying product in retail, Whitman explained, but the much more difficult task of ensuring those goods actually make it to the store. In that sense, combining the three shows could enable vendors and retailers to speed up product introductions, and maximize sales opportunities.

One other benefit of the new show format, Whitman said, is that it would allow for greater interaction among buyers and vendors across categories. For example, people from the front-end could benefit from attending education sessions normally directed at pharmacists, or pharmacy buyers could learn about supply chain. “The pharmacy folks aren’t going to lose anything, and the marketplace people are going to gain something,” Whitman said. “We’re going to continue to strive to let people know they’re not losing anything.”

In recent years, the concept of health and wellness has started to percolate into and link every corner of the store, from the pharmacy and OTC sections to beauty and personal care products and consumables. “The profitability of health and wellness has spilled over into every category,” Whitman said.

So perhaps it’s only natural for suppliers and buyers from across a range of categories to gather under one roof. And that roof is going to be pretty big: Whitman said the show floor space would be about twice what it has been for the Pharmacy and Marketplace shows. In addition, according to NACDS, the TSE’s Meet the Market program will include 9,000 appointments with 270 buyers. This year’s Meet the Rx Market program included 1,501 appointments and 62 buyers, while the Meet the Market program at NACDS Marketplace in June included nearly 7,000 meetings and about 230 buyers.

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NACDS Pharmacy gets out of gates quickly with upbeat Meet the Rx Market program

BY Alaric DeArment

DENVER — Even before the exhibition hall was set up, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 2012 Pharmacy & Technology Conference got a head start Saturday with a Meet the Rx Market program at the Hyatt Regency Denver.

The program brought together 144 suppliers and exhibitors and 62 buyers from retail chains for a total of 1,501 10-minute, speed dating-style meetings that took place over the course of seven hours. The idea is to give retailers ranging from smaller regional chains to those with stores in every state the chance to learn about new vendors and products.

“For the smaller and mid-sized guys, this is a great opportunity,” NACDS VP conference services Larry Lotridge told Drug Store News.

The precisely timed meetings are set up based on a sophisticated computer modeling system, as well as input from retailers and vendors. The result is something like the Meet the Market forum that takes place at the NACDS Marketplace show, albeit it on a smaller scale and with a different product category. “We are constantly tweaking the system,” Lotridge said. Despite the effectiveness of the computer system, a human point of view is crucial as well. “A computer can only do so much,” Lotridge said. “You really need the retailers to be able to look at it and say, ‘This is appropriate for me.’”

But despite the short duration of the meetings, a lot comes out of them. Lotridge said many of them lead to further meetings on the show floor and even to vendors taking trips to retailers’ headquarters. “Overall, as we develop closer relationships with our retail audience, we accommodate their strategic initiatives,” NACDS manager of conference services Andrew Klapmust said.

Of course, some things will change next year as NACDS rolls the Pharmacy & Technology, Marketplace and Supply Chain & Logistics conferences into a single show, the Total Store Expo, set to take place in Las Vegas in August 2013. At that show, retailers will send in buyers from across categories, though officials from the organization have been careful to point out that the Meet the Market forums will not interfere with each other and will also create additional opportunities for interaction. “At the end of the day, exhibitors want to meet with retailers, and retailers want to learn about new products,” Lotridge said.
 

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Survey: Medication flavoring impacts pharmacy satisfaction, loyalty

BY Alaric DeArment

COLUMBIA, Md. – Customer satisfaction and pharmacy loyalty among parents increase significantly when the pharmacist can add custom flavoring to a child’s medications, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by researchers at Temple University’s School of Pharmacy and healthcare consumer research company WilsonRx, found that parents were more likely to recommend a pharmacy that actively informed them about custom-flavoring services over one that did not and preferred filling their children’s medications at pharmacies where the services were available and promoted.

The study consisted of two parts: a survey by pharmacy students of 200 mothers waiting for their children’s prescriptions at 10 chain and independent drug stores in Philadelphia and New Jersey; and a review of WilsonRx’s Pharmacy Customer Satisfaction Survey data, an eight-page paper survey of 34,454 pharmacy customers that included questions on a variety of topics.

“The research and analysis was surprising in that we found that while a fairly high percentage of pharmacy customers were aware that their pharmacy offered prescription flavoring, many were not getting the full value or benefits of the service, either because they didn’t understand how it would help their kids take the medicine or they were simply not asked about it,” Jim Wilson, one of the researchers, said. “I was surprised that there were so many positive benefits for the pharmacy, yet many don’t seem to be making the effort to deliver a totally satisfying flavoring experience. Clearly, the research shows that pharmacy retailers and chains can improve customer satisfaction with a very select family audience.”

According to FlavoRx, a company that makes prescription drug flavoring, only 3% of prescriptions that could be custom flavored actually are. According to the WilsonRx research,  nearly 40% of parents would get a medication flavored for their child, regardless of cost. In addition, 97% of parents said if the pharmacist recommended medication flavoring, they would be highly likely to accept.
 

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E.MEINARDUS says:
Aug-29-2012 12:54 pm

Kids need to know the difference between Candy and Medicine. Many emergency Room visits from kids climbing up to Medicine Cabinets to procur some goodies. Many years ago Bronkometer overdoses from COPD'ers using beta agonist as breathj freshener since it was so handy. Reformulated it so it wouldn't taste so good. Better to have kids swallow dose and then follow up with their favorite treat (i.e. pudding, jell-o ect). Never too young to teach them the difference and avoid the temptation to reward themselves with something mysterious that Mommy keeps in a special place that tastes mighty good. It only takes a few minutes for a Pharmacist to get this point across, and many tragedies could be prevented.

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