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NACDS to present glimpse of the future with ‘Vision 2026’ at Total Store Expo

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

2014 NACDS Total Store Expo. Photo courtesy of NACDSmedia.

 

ARLINGTON, Va. — It’s back! Following a successful launch in 2014, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced its partnership with four technology companies to present Vision 2026 at the 2015 NACDS Total Store Expo to be held in August. This feature will again offer attendees a glimpse of “what comes next” in the industry through technology platforms, displays and interactive experiences.

The 2015 NACDS Total Store Expo will be held Aug. 22 to 25 in Denver.

This year, NACDS will once again partner with global retail merchandising and technology thought leader Kantar Retail on Vision 2026. Also partnering with NACDS and Kantar Retail is global software technology company IBM Watson, interactive display technology company Provision Interactive Technologies and automated robotics technology company, Grabit.

“As the retail and healthcare landscapes continue to evolve, we’re at an important juncture in how technology can play an integral role in bringing them together for the benefit of the consumer,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “The technologies presented by Kantar Retail, IBM Watson, Proactive Interactive Strategies and Grabit will certainly showcase what the future of retail and healthcare may look like in the next decade at this year’s NACDS Total Store Expo,” said Anderson.  

This year’s Vision 2026 experience will again be located at the entrance to the exhibit floor of the NACDS Total Store Expo at the Colorado Convention Center. Through a variety of interactive exhibits, the feature will focus on four primary areas.

The Changing Diagnostic Landscape – The role of the retail store in primary care, rehabilitation, diagnosis and treatment.

Kantar will present a perspective on what the overall industry landscape may look like in 10 years, with a particular eye on an “outcome-centered” healthcare payment system. IBM Watson will also demonstrate its capabilities in visualizing the “primary care store” of the future.  

The Changing Healthy Living Landscape – The role of the retail store as a healthcare advisor to shoppers looking to stay healthy or get healthier. 

Companies will demonstrate the impact that wearables and other portable communication devices will have on the future of health management, and how consumers will interact with these devices.

The Changing Store Environment – Revolutionizing a consumer’s ability to personalize communication and make retail display markedly more interactive. 

Prototypes of a vision for the store of the future will feature personalized display and content vehicles, as well as the analytics to validate their effectiveness as brand building platforms. Provision Interactive Technologies will showcase its 2D and 3D capabilities with interactive Savings Center Kiosks demonstrating how consumers can access product information and cost-savings promotions, rewards and coupons.  

The Changing Economic/Logistics Engine – How the operating and logistics model of the future will allow the personalized, healthy retail environment to function as efficiently as possible. 

Kantar Retail will present its 3D virtual prototype renderings of store environments to demonstrate what the future of the virtual retail environment may look like in 10 years. Grabit will demonstrate its new electroadhesion technology, which is poised to revolutionize manufacturing and warehouse automation.
 

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Open Farm first pet food in U.S. to have Certified Humane label

BY Ryan Chavis

HERNDON, Va. — Open Farm, a Canadian-based pet food company, will be the first producer of Certified Humane Raised and Handled dry dog food in the United States. Humane Farm Animal Care, a nonprofit certification organization that aims to improve the lives of farm animals in food production, made the announcement on Wednesday. 
 
Under the Certified Humane label, Open Farm will use only meat and poultry product in pets foods that come from Certified Humane farms and ranches, HFAC said. Additionally, animals on such farms and ranches are raised where they can roam freely in their environments. The animals must also be reared without antibiotics or growth hormones and can’t be fed animal by-products.
 
"As an animal lover and ethical eater, it was very important that Open Farm work only with farmers who respect the animals under their care, raising them in accordance with strict ethical and humane standards," said Jacqueline Prehogan, president of Open Farm. "The Certified Humane stamp gives pet parents a high level of comfort in knowing where their pet's food comes from and, for the first time, having the choice to buy humane pet food."
 
Pet owners can find stores close to them that carry Open Farm using a free mobile app from Certified Humane or by visiting Certified Humane’s “where to shop” page
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Easter products, pharmacy revenue boost March sales at Fred’s

BY Ryan Chavis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Thursday announced that its March sales increased 0.3% to $191.7 million, as compared to $191 million during the same period in 2014. Comparable store sales for the month increased nearly 2%, compared with a decrease of 1.2% in March 2014. 
 
Total sales for the first two months of fiscal 2015 declined 1% to $344.9 million. Excluding sales of $15.8 million from closed stores for the comparable two-month period in 2014, total sales increased by 4% for the same time period in 2015, the company reported.
 
According to Fred’s CEO Jerry Shore, Easter product sales as well as revenue from the company’s pharmacy department were factors in the increase. He noted areas where the company hoped to see improvement: “We were negatively affected in spring seasonal and Lawn & Garden product categories due to the port strike and wet weather during March,” Shore said. “We expect that these sales will rebound in the upcoming months as spring merchandise is received.”
 
Shore also added that the Fred’s pharmacy team is at work completing the acquisition of specialty pharmacy business EntrustRx and Reeves-Sain Drug Store. 
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