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NACDS, A.T. Kearney release findings of digital marketing study

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK — This week at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores' Retail Advisory Board’s working group on outreach and business development, along with A.T. Kearney, presented findings about marketing efforts among retailers, CPG manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies from its “Winning with Digital Marketing“ study.

The study includes surveys and interviews with retail and CPG executives in the chain pharmacy sector and it looks at five aspects of companies’ digital marketing: strategy, organization/capabilities, process, metrics and maturity of discipline.

The study identifies a shift among retailers in particular to more strategic objectives, among them brand awareness and tailored pricing. Companies’ top five goals appear to be increasing traffic in-store or on ecommerce sites, more insights about customers, engaging and relevant customer interactions, sales increases and a desire to facilitate customers sharing ideas about the brand. However, very few of those surveyed feel that their digital marketing efforts are cutting-edge or advanced, with most ranking their efforts as “emerging.”

Though this might lead some to bring on outside parties to manage their digital media strategy, the report warns that this might not be beneficial in the long run.

“Recruiting digital marketing talent into traditional corporate environments can be difficult, with many of these individuals preferring smaller, more entrepreneurial environments,” the report said. “Nevertheless, there is a risk of creating a downward spiral: If companies continue to outsource the management and execution of their digital marketing, then they will never develop the capabilities they need to excel. And as digital marketing becomes more important, companies with an in-house digital capability may be in the best position to establish relationships with customers, promote their brands, and ultimately drive sales.

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K.Sulprizio says:
Dec-06-2015 05:33 am

Yes - I agree

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Fred’s reports November, YTD sales

BY David Salazar

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Thursday released its November sales results, along with its year-to-date sales figures. The results hit the midpoint of the guidance the company provided when discussing its earnings last week, according to CEO Jerry Shore. 
 
For the month, the company saw total sales of $166 million, up 8% from 154.1 million in the same period in 2014. Excluding sales from 2014 sales that came from 47 since-closed stores, the sales increase was 14%. Comparable store sales grew 1.7% — an improvement over the last year’s 2.3% comps decrease. 
 
Shore said that the company’s general merchandise deparments improved, driven by holiday gift sales, and that pharmacy deparment sales were a little lower than expected, partially due to a dip in specialty pharmacy sales during the week of Thanksgiving. Shore expected those sales to shift into the first week of December. 
 
“We are pleased with our team's continued efforts and hard work to implement our strategies and initiatives, which have led to the improvement in comparable store sales over the past several months,” Shore said. “The sales results for November give us added confidence in our operating and merchandising plan for the remainder of the holiday season.”
 
For the year-to-date, the company has had sales of $1.762 billion — an 8% increase over the same period last year, which includes a 1.5% increase in comps (up from a 1% decline last year). Without 47 closed locations’ sales that were included in 2014’s figures, Fred’s total sales increased 13% for the first 10 months of the year. 
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NACDS files legal brief to support pharmacy reminder calls, texts

BY David Salazar

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced this week that it had filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, opposing a Federal Communications Commission order restricting automated and pre-recorded calls and texts to cell phones — including pharmacy reminders aimed at boosting adherence. 
 
“As Americans increasingly rely on mobile technology, it makes sense that reminders to refill their prescription medications be made available on their cell phones to help keep them on track with their medication regimen, as well as receive other information to help them manage their health,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. 
 
In the brief, NACDS noted, “These prescription notifications rapidly and conveniently alert patients to important and time-sensitive information that is critical to the medically appropriate use of their prescribed medications.”
 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Retail Litigation Center, among others, have filed other briefs regarding the FCC rules. 
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