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NCPA names finalists in the 2014 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Friday announced that three teams of pharmacy students have been named finalists in the 2014 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition.  
 
Teams of pharmacy students from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy; the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy; and the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa College of Pharmacy, will present their business plans in a live competition Oct. 18, 2014 at NCPA’s Annual Convention in Austin, Tex. This year’s competition drew submissions from 42 schools and colleges of pharmacy.
 
“It’s hard to overstate how impressive and inspiring the student business plan entries are and that’s true again this year,” stated NCPA president Mark Riley. “We congratulate the three finalist teams and commend all of the students on their accomplishment of putting together a comprehensive business plan. Good luck to the top three finalists as they gear up for their live presentations in October.”
 
Team members and the advisor for the three finalist teams will receive complimentary registration, travel and lodging to NCPA’s 116th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in Austin, where they will compete for first, second and third place in a live competition. A total of $12,000 will be awarded to the respective NCPA student chapters and the school. 
 
The goal of the competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create a business model for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or opening a new pharmacy. Through this competition, NCPA is better able to prepare tomorrow's pharmacy entrepreneurs for a successful future. The Business Plan Competition is the first national competition of its kind in the pharmacy profession and honors two great champions of independent community pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt Sr. and the late H. Joseph Schutte. The competition is supported by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pharmacists Mutual Companies and the NCPA Foundation.
 
The remaining finalists in the top 10, listed alphabetically, are: Midwestern University College of Pharmacy-Glendale; Ohio Northern University-Raabe College of Pharmacy; Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy; University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy; University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy – OKC Campus; University of the Pacific – Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy; and the University of Washington School of Pharmacy. 
 
The submissions were judged by a panel of 50 NCPA members and Good Neighbor Pharmacy business coaching consultants.
 
All participating schools receive a plaque commemorating their participation in the competition. Each year, competing schools receive an engraved plate to add to their plaque, and teams placing in the top 10 receive a special plate acknowledging this distinction.  
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Will Dollar Tree and Family Dollar create the new dollar-channel giant?

BY Michael Johnsen

Dollar Tree and Family Dollar last week announced an $8.5 billion merger that, when completed, will create the largest dollar store operator in the United States.
 
The store footprints of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar certainly complement one another. Dollar Tree stores are located primarily in suburban areas while Family Dollar targets urban and rural locations. Assuming that the new combined entity would not be forced to sell off an inordinate amount of stores to please trade regulators, that would make Dollar Tree/Family Dollar the new leader by store count.
 
Dollar Tree and Family Dollar currently have a combined 13,326 stores, and Dollar Tree averaged $1.6 million in revenues per store over the trailing 12 months, according to eMarketer research, down 1% year over year, while Family Dollar brought in an average of $1.3 million per store, down 4.8% over the trailing 12 months. 
 
Dollar General, with 11,338 stores, averaged $1.6 million in revenue per store in the trailing 12 months as well, up 2.3% year over year. Dollar Tree brought in $149 in sales per square foot over the trailing 12 months, down 0.9% in that time, according to eMarketer, while Family Dollar took in $150 per square foot, down 5% year over year. Dollar General averaged slightly higher sales per square foot — $179, up 1.5% — during that time frame. 
 
Combined, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar collected $18.4 billion in total revenues in the trailing 12 months. Dollar Tree's revenues were up 5.8% year over year, while Family Dollar's revenues grew just 3.3% during that time. The combined revenues of the two companies were just larger than Dollar General, which took in $17.8 billion in the trailing 12 months, up 8.8% year over year.
 
The marriage could mean sharper competition for Dollar General, still considered king of the dollar store hill. But it's important to consider the sharp growth trajectory at Dollar General. It continues to grow where it counts and its store continue to gain in productivity, in same-store sales growth, sales per sq. ft., and sheer store count. Dollar General will add in excess of 700 stores this years. Prior to the announcemet, Family Dollar had planned to add 525 stores this year; Dollar Tree had planned to add 375.
 
"First and foremost, Dollar General has clearly benefited from Family Dollar’s struggles over the past decade, particularly in 2012/2013 when the company retreated from its hybrid EDLP model," suggested Chuck Grom, Sterne Agee analyst. "With a new sheriff in town, Family Dollar will be a much sharper competitor going forward, creating margin pressure in the process."
 
DSN believes there is a lot of room for growth for both companies in the dollar channel. That's because the economy continues to make more of its core customer everyday. That doesn't seem to be changing any time soon, so look for massive growth from both companies in the years ahead, and stiffer competition for the low-income consumer — which, of course, has always been Walmart's domain.
 
 
 
 
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PuraMed BioScience to rebrand LipiGesic M

BY Michael Johnsen

SCHOFIELD, Wis. — PuraMed BioScience on Wednesday announced that the company is rebranding the LipiGesic M name along with the name's red and yellow logo, to be replaced with the trademarked name MigraPure going forward. The new name, logo, and color palette of PuraMed's homeopathic, natural migraine pain reliever will be reintroduced into selected segments of the retail marketplace.
 
"We've been working on this for over a year," stated Russell Mitchell, CEO and chairman of PuraMed BioScience. "We needed to secure the trademark for the name and create the image before we announced the development of the enhanced formula and our product line extensions," he said. "The new name will be easier for people to remember and pronounce. … We also believe the new look and color of the logo will convey our 'safe' and 'natural' message at a glance. Preliminary feedback about the change has been positive and we are pleased. We will now have packaging that reflects the excellent product inside."
 
PuraMed hopes to have the new product, which uses a flavor-enhanced version of the sublingual LipiGesic M formula, new packaging, new price point, and a new website ready for public purchase within the next two months, though promotion and distribution to retailers and targeted wholesale partners will begin earlier.
 
"The manufacturing order has been placed," said Mitchell. "Our marketing plan is being finalized and as soon as the packaging and the website are ready, we will launch."
 
MigraPure's fresh look and message will replace the red and yellow LipiGesic logo. A tagline that describes the product will also be a fundamental part of the logo.
 
"By using a tagline with the image, we can make a stronger statement and leave no doubt in the consumer's mind about what MigraPure is or what it does, which is also an improvement," said Mitchell. "During the re-launch, we will also reference LipiGesic M on the packaging and other marketing materials in order to maintain a connection with our clinical trial data and our current customer base."
 
Development of the gel, packaging and launch of the website are the first steps in the rebranding effort. PuraMed plans to continue to sell LipiGesic M under the old label until the new product is available.
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