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NRF initiative takes on challenges of mobile retailing

BY Gail Hoffer

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation, in partnership with its member companies, has launched a new initiative to address the challenges and opportunities of mobile retailing.

The Integrated Mobile Initiative is being led by NRF SVP communities and executive director of Shop.org Vicki Cantrell, with cooperative support and involvement from an external task force of retail companies and solution providers. Additionally, the IMI aims to further strengthen NRF’s message that policies which hinder innovation will inhibit retail companies from catering to consumers all over the world.

"Retailers are inherently driven to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to their customers’ demands, and today nothing is more important than mobile technologies that provide seamless cross-platform shopping experiences," Cantrell said. "As mobile rapidly changes both consumers’ expectations and the overall shopping experience, the IMI will serve as the go-to source for information for retailers, their business partners, the media and interested parties across the world on the practical aspects of implementation and resources for mobile retailing."

Drawing from NRF’s cross-sector membership base of more than 9,000 companies and industry experts, the IMI will explore the scope of issues that mobile impacts and offer best practices, case studies, educational content, thought leadership and more.

A centerpiece of the IMI is NRFMobile.com, a website that offers users the opportunity to view original NRF research, infographics, policy information and more.

Key elements of the IMI’s work include:

  • Thought leadership: IMI will bring together retailers and other experts in the field to discuss and advance the future of mobile retailing and serve as the central hub of information on the topic;

  • Educational content and events: Through its website, policy initiatives and nationwide events, the IMI will educate retailers and their communities on mobile trends and challenges; and

  • Original research: The IMI will produce and release research related to mobile retail trends, including consumer habits, mobile marketing and industry best practices.

"NRF’s subject matter experts provide unmatched insight into mobile’s impact on every aspect of the retail organization including recruiting the right talent, how to organize your business and how to integrate existing and new technology," Cantrell said. "Using our arsenal of internal and partner expertise, and industry and original research as the foundation, the IMI will bring real-life experiences to the table for in-depth conversation about the force that is mobile retailing."

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Jamba launches Greek yogurt superfruit smoothies

BY Allison Cerra

PHOENIX — The Jamba "at home" lineup has expanded to include Jamba Greek yogurt superfruit smoothies.

The smoothies combine nonfat Greek yogurt with on-trend superfruits and are available in two flavors. Pomegranate Pick-Me-Up contains whole frozen blueberries and raspberries, sliced strawberries, pomegranate and frozen nonfat Greek yogurt. Acai Super-Antioxidant features whole frozen blueberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries, blackberries, acai and nonfat Greek yogurt. Each serving has 130 calories or less.

"We recently introduced these smoothies and gained immediate distribution," said Steve Sklar, SVP for Inventure Foods, which produces the Jamba "at home" smoothie under a licensing agreement with Jamba Juice. "Interest in Greek yogurt is at an all-time high, and superfruits continue to be on-trend, so combining the two makes a ton of sense."

Jamba Greek yogurt superfruit smoothies are available at stores nationwide for a suggested retail price range of $3.29 to $3.99 per 8-oz. package.

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Shoppers Drug Mart celebrates 50th anniversary

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart is celebrating its 50th anniversary in September, and in a lead up to the landmark anniversary, the chain is inviting Canadians to join the party by submitting their own Shoppers Drug Mart moments via the interactive "50 Fabulous Years" digital hub that will launch on Aug. 13.

The customized online portal allows Canadians to share the moments when Shoppers Drug Mart was there for them and their families over the last five decades. The digital component is accessible from the Shoppers Drug Mart website and will feature real-time sharing of individual "moments" integrated with the company’s key milestones spanning the 1960s through the 2000s. Canadians can share their moments from Aug. 13 through Sept. 23.

"With this new digital initiative, Canadians can join the celebration and share experiences that have helped make Shoppers Drug Mart a leading destination for their health, beauty and convenience needs," Shoppers Drug Mart SVP marketing Sandra Sanderson said. "We look forward to hearing about the many ways Shoppers Drug Mart has helped Canadians look, live and feel fabulous over the past 50 years."

The digital component is one way that Shoppers Drug Mart is engaging and celebrating with Canadians in store and online. In September, the company also will launch a number of activities, including:

  • National Makeover Weekend on Sept. 8 and 9: Canadians are invited to receive a complimentary makeover at participating Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores across Canada by booking an appointment for a celebratory anniversary beauty look;

  • Quo Cosmetics anniversary collection: Canada’s first private-label cosmetic brand, Quo, will unveil a limited-edition collection featuring an anniversary-themed beauty palette and a commemorative 10-brush set (available starting Sept. 8), as well as six celebratory Quo by Orly Glitter FX nail polish shades (available Sept. 18); and

  • 50th anniversary promotions and national contest: Customers can participate in many promotions, as well as a national contest offering chances to win 50 grand prizes. Each entry requires a $10 in-store purchase to receive a PIN that can be registered online to enter the contest.

Founded by Toronto pharmacist Murray Koffler in 1962, Shoppers Drug Mart was the first store in Canada to introduce mass merchandising and self service to a retail pharmacy. Today, Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix associate-owners and pharmacist fill nearly 100 million prescriptions a year and operate more than 1,300 stores across Canada.

The company also blazed a trail of developing successful private-label brands, including Life Brand, also celebrating 50 years in 2012, and Quo Cosmetics, first launched in 1991. In 2000, Shoppers Optimum was introduced and today the program boasts close to 10 million cardholders.

In addition to being a provider of healthcare products and services, Shoppers Drug Mart has become a destination for the beauty and convenience categories. By expanding its exclusive offering of international beauty brands, the company now offers one of the widest selections of skin care and cosmetics products. In 2003, the first BeautyBoutique was introduced, designed to enhance the offering of prestige cosmetics in an open sell environment. Today, there are more than 310 BeautyBoutiques/GalerieBeauté across the store network.

Beyond beauty, Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores carry a wide selection of products in the Food Essentials section of more than 680 stores. The range includes hundreds of convenience food options and brands, such as Shoppers’ own Simply Food and Nativa Organics.

There are more than 1,206 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories.

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