NACDS puts a new spin on Meet the Market
SAN DIEGO This year the National Association of Chain Drug Stores introduced two new features to its Meet the Market format. First, NACDS hosted a Meet the Market Presentation Template webinar twice prior to Meet the Market, in which NACDS introduced a meeting template that succinctly captured all of the information retailers typically use to evaluate a new product or company.
Also new to Meet the Market were the booths of 10 service companies — trade media and professional education, merchandising consultants and marketing/media information companies — which afforded an opportunity for new and smaller suppliers to meet with these organizations.
“New companies have a need not only to meet with retailers, obviously, they have a need for their business,” noted Jim Whitman, NACDS SVP meetings and conferences. Another ongoing improvement is the productivity within each meeting, Whitman added. “We keep refining the match, the appointments,” he said.
This year, the Meet the Market format — in which smaller and new suppliers have 10-minute meetings with their category buyers — represented more than 8,000 face-to-face pre-arranged appointments.
Target unveils new pharmacy incentives
MINNEAPOLIS Target unveiled changes in its rewards program for customers who shift their prescription drug needs to one of its more than 1,580 in-store pharmacies.
On Thursday, the chain unveiled a change to its pharmacy rewards program, in line with broad enhancements to its full-scale store loyalty program, REDcard. “Beginning this fall, guests will receive a coupon good for 5% off a future day of shopping every time they fill five prescriptions at a Target pharmacy with a Target REDcard,” the company announced.
The new program marks a change in Target’s incentive efforts, cutting the storewide discount but also cutting in half the amount of prescriptions required to claim the discount. Currently, customers get a coupon good for 10% off a future day of shopping every time they fill 10 prescriptions at a Target pharmacy with a Target REDcard.
The new incentive, however, may be eclipsed by the simultaneous launch of the company’s expanded, storewide REDcard program, under which customers “will receive 5% off at check-out every day when they use a REDcard at any Target store or on Target.com,” according to the company. That program also launches in the fall, following a test in Kansas City that began in October 2009.
“Guest response has been overwhelmingly favorable, leading to meaningful incremental sales and profits,” Target noted in a statement June 3. “The response has been particularly strong among our existing better and best retail guests.”
Target predicted the expanded REDcard program will add roughly “one percentage point to comparable-store sales and have little to no impact on consolidated earnings” in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year, and will lift comp-store sales one to two percentage points in 2011.
“We believe guests will appreciate the simplicity and compelling value of this program, which will lead them to choose to shop more often at Target,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO. “As a result, we expect this new program to drive profitable incremental sales, which will more than offset the cost of providing this everyday discount to our cardholders.”
Retail clinic growth slowing down? Not a chance
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The news that Target is looking to expand its retail-based clinic business this year is yet one more indicator that reports of the demise of retail clinic growth have been greatly exaggerated.
(THE NEWS: Target to expand its retail clinic presence. For the full story, click here)
As the article states, Target, which opened its first clinic in 2006, is looking to open up eight new locations this September. It already operates 28 locations in Minnesota and Maryland.
It wasn’t so long ago — April to be exact — that CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic indicated that it could double its current number of clinics in five years.
Why the growth? Well, aside from the aging population and a shortage of primary care physicians, a major catalyst is healthcare reform, which will mean that 32 million people who currently are uninsured will have healthcare coverage. With emergency rooms already overflowing, and primary care physicians already over-extended, having a retail clinic nearby where patients can receive convenient, quality and affordable health care will only become increasingly important.
Meanwhile, RediClinic, which has 22 clinics in H-E-B stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, is cranking up its marketing efforts and has tapped former Duane Reade executive Jeff Thompson as VP marketing. Thompson will be responsible for RediClinic’s consumer and partner marketing activities, including developing and implementing strategic customer acquisition/retention programs, new product delivery and brand strategy.
Thompson most recently served as VP marketing for Duane Reade.
Clearly, there continues to be significant growth opportunities for clinics — both in terms of the number of clinic locations and the scope of services offered within the clinics. As mentioned earlier, there are 32 million reasons why the growth will be quite dramatic.