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New York City: Growth in a multicultural mecca

BY Mark Hamstra

As a global center for finance, international trade, media, fashion and entertainment, the New York City metro area works hard to uphold its reputation as the “City that Never Sleeps.”

The greater metropolitan area, the largest in the United States, is home to nearly 24 million people and rising. It is a diverse mix that includes the largest population of foreign-born citizens of any metropolitan area in the world. The demographic makeup is about 52% white, another 21.7% Hispanic or Latino, 15.3% African-American and 9% Asian.

The region’s nominal gross domestic product totaled $1.74 billion in 2017, an increase of 4.7% over 2016, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

According to a report from the New York City comptroller, the economy of New York City itself, which drives the economy for the metro area overall, grew 2.4% in 2017, slightly down from growth of 2.5% in 2016, but ahead of overall U.S. economic growth of 2.3%.

Although the economy pulled back slightly in the fourth quarter, unemployment fell for the full year and wages increased, the comptroller reported. The city added 71,400 private-sector jobs in 2017, after adding 83,600 in 2016. Leading industries adding jobs included education and health services, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, financial activities, and construction. In contrast, trade, manufacturing and information all lost jobs.

Burt Flickinger, managing director of New York City-based consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, said the chain drug stores in New York City have become grocery destinations, competing with the city’s notoriously high-
priced supermarkets.

“New York is a leading indicator for well-developed urban markets, where it’s tough to get new permits or development sites, that drug stores will increasingly become substitute supermarkets,” he said. “Chain drug stores led by CVS, Rite Aid, as well as Walgreens, are filling the void.”

But that’s not to say drug stores don’t have plenty of competition from both grocers and big-box stores. Among the biggest developments in the area has been the expansion of Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets into the New York City metro market, with new stores in northern New Jersey and a planned location in Brooklyn that would make it the first Wegmans within city limits. The Brooklyn store had originally been scheduled to open in 2017, but is now scheduled to make its debut sometime later this year.

The food retailing market was roiled by the bankruptcy of A&P/Pathmark in 2015, which saw 25 stores shut down immediately and another 120 sold to rivals — primarily Albertsons, which owns the Acme chain in the Philadelphia area; Stop & Shop, which acquired several Pathmark locations in New York City; and Key Foods, a cooperative that has emerged as one of the largest and fastest-growing retailers in the area.

Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food, parent of the ShopRite chain, together with its various ShopRite operators, is the dominant food retailer in the market, with close to a quarter of the market share, according to data from Chain Store Guide. Ahold’s Stop & Shop banner tallied about 16.6% of the grocery sales in the market, and Costco another 11.1%.

Although Target has expanded into New York City with a handful of stores, while rival Walmart has none inside the city itself, Walmart still captures a higher grocery market share in the metro area overall, with 2.9%, compared with 1.4% for Target. Minneapolis-based Target continues to expand in the market, however. Last year it opened one of its new small-format stores in Midtown Manhattan, and it has two more on tap for 2018 openings downtown, and more for Brooklyn and Queens in the coming years.

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Atlanta leads pack of Walgreens’ ‘Red Rally Markets’

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens released the latest rankings for its Every One Counts Hometown Challenge Wednesday. Atlanta presently is the top ‘Red Rally Market’ for overall Red Nose Day fundraising activity.

The challenge features 10 U.S. markets – deemed Walgreens ‘Red Rally Markets’ for their integral role in helping to rally their communities to help end child poverty and going nose-to-nose in a challenge to raise the most money for the Red Nose Day cause during an eight-week campaign.

Following Red Nose Day, which takes place May 24 with a special night of programming on NBC, Walgreens will announce the winner of the challenge with a formal proclamation to the victorious city, which will be designated as the “Red Nose Day Hometown Hero” for the next 12 months.

The top 10 markets are:

  1. Atlanta;
  2. Miami;
  3. Washington;
  4. Phoenix;
  5. Los Angeles;
  6. Chicago;
  7. Seattle;
  8. Philadelphia;
  9. Newark, N.J./New York City; and
  10. Houston.

The weekly rankings are compiled using store-level data for combined Red Nose Day sales (Red Noses and Red Nose Day related merchandise) across Walgreens store locations in designated Red Rally markets. Data for the progress report is analyzed at a geographic market level to measure total store performance of Red Nose Day sales.

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Wegmans, higi connect consumer health data to pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

Wegmans and higi on Wednesday announced that customers and employees utilizing higi health stations can now link their health data directly to Wegmans’ pharmacy management system through an integration with McKesson’s EnterpriseRx.

This initiative will enable Wegmans pharmacists to better help consumers understand their measurements, review their health data trends and connect consumers with the appropriate care for their current health needs.

“Consumers want a more convenient, cheaper and easier ways to connect to their healthcare data and share it with their care providers,” Jeff Bennett, higi CEO, said. “By being consumer-centric and meeting the consumer where they are, higi and Wegmans together are empowering deeper consumer engagement to drive improved adherence and deliver better health outcomes.”

Across the industry, consumers are in search of more opportunities to conveniently share health data with trusted healthcare providers. Wegmans Pharmacy historically has been a champion for using technology to deliver better care to consumers and engage them in their health, the grocer stated. Now, through the McKesson Clinical Programs Solution integration with higi, Wegmans consumers can immediately and securely share higi collected data, including blood pressure, pulse, weight and BMI, and work with the Wegmans Pharmacy team to better understand and act on that data.

The McKesson Clinical Programs Solution is a platform that operates as part of the pharmacy management system, integrating with pharmacy workflows to provide actionable notifications in real time. Biometric data collected by higi is incorporated into the CPS platform, allowing pharmacists to immediately react to each consumer’s health concerns. Having access to this data enables Wegmans and their pharmacists to be the connective tissue needed as the healthcare system continues to move toward proactive and convenient retail based care, the companies noted.

 

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