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Omron launches new line of blood pressure monitors

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Omron Healthcare on Tuesday introduced a new line of monitors that provide even more accurate results, according to the company.
 
The new line captures five times more data points for a more precise reading. With more data points captured, interferences such as breathing and movement have less of an impact. Premium units include the easy wrap ComFit cuff which inflates around the entire arm to avoid incorrect positioning, and Omron’s algorithm allows for more consistency and precision.
 
“Studies have proven that monitoring blood pressure not only in the doctor’s office, but also at home, is vital to reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure,” said Sarah Meltzer, Omron blood pressure product manager. “With more accurate readings, people can confidently take their blood pressure at home, which is an easy step to improving health conditions.”
 
The newest offerings from Omron make it easier for people to stay on top of their blood pressure between visits to their doctor, the company said. Suggested retail price ranges from $49.99 for its 3 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor to $99.99 for its 10 Series monitors. 
 
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Family Dollar’s Matthew Martin defines value at Emerson Retail Industry Day

BY Antoinette Alexander

PHILADELPHIA — Is your emerging economy in your backyard? That’s a question that Matthew Martin, VP marketing at Family Dollar, posed to attendees of the Emerson Group Retail Industry Day as he described how Family Dollar defines value and what it is doing to better meet the needs of its core shopper.

“Many of you work for global organizations that are organizing around emerging economies around the world. What if your emerging economy is in your backyard? What if you don’t have to go to Africa and Asia and some of these other places?” Martin told attendees during his presentation titled, “Value = Quality ÷ Price: Building Loyalty — It Starts and Ends with Our Customers.” “Because I’m going to talk to you about a customer who ought to be on your radar screen.”
Enter the value shopper.

With a network of more than 8,000 stores in rural and urban settings across 46 states, Family Dollar strives to help families save on the items they need with everyday low prices and create a strong bond with it consumers.

Who is the core Family Dollar consumer? Here’s some stats:

  • 56% earn less than $40,000 per year;
  • 31% have children under the age of 18 years;
  • 50% are on some kind of government assistance;
  • 58% stick to brands and stores they can afford;
  • 25% live in multi-generational households; and
  • 66% of baskets are less than $10.

Despite these eye-opening stats, Martin urged attendees to remember that these shoppers are not simply statistics.
“They don’t believe that they are poor. They are some of the most hopeful people that I have ever met,” Martin said. “They want to feel valued, and they don’t necessarily always feel that way.”

He went on to share some ways in which Family Dollar is working to better communicate and meet the needs of the value shopper.

One such example is its recently expanded food assortment. As part of the new food rollout, TV personality and chef Pat Neely participated in several special events, such as a recipe challenge, to spread the word about the values customers can find in the store.

Another example is the company’s first vlogger event held last year to promote its ethnic hair care offering. The event proved successful with the company doubling the run rates on those items featured in the vlogger outreach.

Then there’s price. “Price has to be the right price, when she needs it and when she has the money, not when we want to do a promotion and what makes sense on our calendars,” Martin said. “So, our initiative you’ve seen from us about getting back to everyday low price is not necessarily a new idea across retail, we understand that. But everyday low price takes on a particularly different meaning for our customer, and we have to be right on that price every day.”

“Quality, experience and price. That’s how we define value,” Martin said.

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IRI’s Sanders dives into changing retail and healthcare landscape

BY Antoinette Alexander

PHILADELPHIA — With declines in household incomes, a growing trend toward self-care among consumers, a changing demographic landscape and a greater emphasis on digital, the retail environment is undergoing significant change, but that change is spelling opportunities for smaller companies, according to Bob Sanders, EVP healthcare practice leader at IRI.

“We think, as Steve Martin said, you can be so good that they can’t ignore you. … There have been a lot of companies that have proven that out, and I will tell you increasingly more retailers are listening to not the big guys only,” Sanders told attendees of the Emerson Group Retail Industry Day during his presentation titled, “The Data is Just the Beginning: How Syndicated Data Creates Fertile Ground for Fresh Insights.”

Taking a deeper dive into the changes currently underway and outlining factors that smaller brands should keep top of mind, Sanders discussed the opportunities that exist within the OTC segment given the rise in self-care among consumers. In fact, data shows that 34% of consumers are doing more to self-treat common conditions, and 24% are doing more to self-treat chronic conditions.

“Consumers are trying to take better care of themselves. … As a result, that manifests itself into buying products to prevent disease, to keep out of the doctor’s office. … People are doing more, which equates to greater household penetration, which equates to greater buying rate,” Sanders said.

The self-care trend is also helping fuel sales of food products with such attributes as lower sodium and lower carbohydrates as more consumers look to make lifestyle changes, Sanders noted.

Another factor to consider is the changing demographic landscape, driven by an aging population, millennials, minorities and low income. To better compete with the larger players who are looking for ways to expand their reach, Sanders said it is important for smaller companies to also think about targeting and segmentation.

“Do you see [segmentation and targeting] as an opportunity for your business?” Sanders asked attendees. “… Is it an opportunity for you guys to think differently about how you support your brands to really grow in the marketplace?”

Then there’s digital, which has greatly altered the path to purchase.

“The moment of truth is not at the shelf anymore. … There’s almost five times more paths that consumers can go via digital than traditional,” Sanders said.

Furthermore, the retail landscape continues to evolve as retailers, such as drug stores, increasingly implement in-store services.

“Drug retailers are smart. It’s a classic vertical integration play. They are going to surround that consumer/patient/shopper as much as they can, and if they can keep your attention and keep you in their stores, they are going to sell more stuff,” Sanders said. “So, how are you going to deal with the clinics? How are you going to market through an organization that is looking to do that?”

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