ProFoot comes to the rescue
ProFoot is expanding its Heel Rescue line with the addition of Heel Rescue Epsom Salt Foot Gel. Officials at the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company said that Epsom salt is a remedy used as aaloe vera to relieve muscle aches and pains as well as reduce inflammation.
The epsom salt gel joins two other products in the Heel Rescue line — a moisturizing foot cream and foot peel.
The product comes in a gel form, making it an easy-to-use item that requires no foot bath. Company executives add that it is ultra-concentrated, offering seven times more uses versus a typical Epsom salt bag. They noted that it is made with 83% aloe vera to soothe, calm and moisturize, as well as cooling peppermint oil and wintergreen leaf extract to revive.
Editor’s note: Retail theater
I have seen the future of mass retail. It is located, perhaps among other places, at a Whole Foods store in the fast-growing and quickly-gentrifying Center City section of Philadelphia.
On a recent Friday night, this store was packed with a wide array of consumers, ranging from those hard-to-capture millennials to older professionals and just about everyone in between. Not everyone there was rich and looking to spend their incremental dollars. Many were simply looking for a place to hang.
What is totally different is that many of these shoppers were not necessarily walking the aisles of Whole Foods buying the usual assortment of grocery products the grocery industry has thrived on for the last 100 years. Rather, they were frequenting the store’s many restaurants and food counters, including falafel, donut and chicken shops, as well as coffee and wine bars, many lounging at these places for hours as they enjoyed a hot brew, a glass of wine and some pretty good pizza sold by the slice or pie.
Whole Foods, at least at this Philadelphia unit, is a destination stop for people looking to spend time talking with friends and family and eating some interesting, tasty and unique foods at the same time. The bottom line is that this is a fun place and consumers actually want to go there.
Can you say the same thing about your store’s operation?
If you cannot today, you better quickly figure out a way to get consumers to start looking at your retail operation a bit differently. And, this has nothing to do with millennials and urban gentrification. Attracting consumers is as important in midtown Odessa, Texas as it is in center city Philadelphia. Consumers just have too many options to choose from, and they will pick the stores — or the digital sites — that make the most sense for them.
For brick-and-mortar retailers, that means offering an entertaining environment to further motivate consumers to come into the store and walk out with paid merchandise.
The Philadelphia Whole Foods that I visited has the right blueprint in place. People visit the store because they want to and not because they need to. It leads to a healthier retail environment, which leads to more sales. Other retailers also can develop their own venue that connects with shoppers. It may focus on the perimeter of the unit or it could focus on such intangibles as customer service, convenience or even store lighting.
The bottom line is now is the time to invest in this philosophy.
With positive Q3 in the books, McKesson bullish on sourcing
McKesson on Thursday reported revenues of $53.6 billion for the third quarter ended Dec. 31, up 7% compared to the year-ago period. Third-quarter results were driven by organic growth across multiple business units, including the company’s strategic sourcing benefits through ClarusONE, incremental profit contribution from acquisitions and a lower tax rate, which included discrete tax benefits unrelated to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
“I’m extremely pleased with the progress of ClarusONE [McKesson’s joint sourcing entity with Walmart] and its strong contribution to our results this year,” John Hammergren, McKesson chairman and CEO, told investors. “We have contracted a diverse range of manufacturers delivering benefits to our partner Walmart and more broadly, with all of our customers who purchase generics through us, helping them to be more successful in a competitive and dynamic market.”
“We believe that we’ve really got a great foundation in place,” added Britt Vitalone, McKesson executive vice president and CFO who had helped create ClarusONE. “We’ve been able to partner with a number of manufacturers and really develop a beachhead around generics in the U.S., and we think we have tremendous foundation to take that further, whether that be, again, additional geographies or additional product categories. So we are quite excited about the potential that we have there, and we’ll continue to explore that over the coming quarters.”
In addition to its sourcing agreements with Walmart, Rite Aid remains a significant customer, and not one McKesson expects to lose anytime soon. “We’re working closely with Rite Aid to ensure the successful transition of the allotted stores to Walgreens,” Hammergren said. “We continue to deliver exception value to Rite Aid every day and we remain comfortable that our sourcing scale and capability has not been, nor will be, impacted by this transition.”
Rite Aid is currently contracted to purchase generics from McKesson through March 2019, but as part of its asset sale to Walgreens Boots Alliance, the company will have access to Walgreens’ generic sourcing heft following the expiration of that McKesson contract.
Rite Aid’s January quarterly conference call may have been a confidence booster for McKesson. “We’re under no commitment to switch from McKesson and will ultimately align with a purchasing partner that we think will offer us the best overall economics,” Kermit Crawford, Rite Aid president and COO, said. Rite Aid is currently looking into renegotiating its generic purchasing agreements in an effort to realize greater savings across its network before March 2019, Rite Aid executives shared with investors in January.
On a per-share basis, the San Francisco-based company reported net income of $4.33. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $3.41 per share. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.92 per share, according to reports.
Distribution Solutions revenues totaled $53.6 billion for the quarter, up 8% on a reported basis and 7% on a constant currency basis. North America pharmaceutical distribution and services revenues of $44.9 billion for the quarter were up 8% on a reported basis and 7% on a constant currency basis, primarily reflecting market growth and acquisitions.
Other notable events in the quarter include McKesson’s acquisition of RxCrossroads; that transaction was closed approximately one month ago.