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Q&A: Future of retail with NACDS’ Jim Whitman and Steve Perlowski

BY Antoinette Alexander

New at this year’s NACDS Total Store Expo in Boston on Aug. 23 to 26 will be Vision 2025. The exhibit will, with the help of partners Checkpoint Systems and Kantar Retail, provide attendees a glimpse of “what comes next” through technology platforms, displays and interactive experiences. To learn more, DSN spoke with Jim Whitman and Steve Perlowski of NACDS.

DSN: What is the idea behind Vision 2025?

Jim Whitman: [NACDS members] are all working on not only the “today” but they are working on the “tomorrow” pieces of their business. So, that’s where Vision 2025 comes in … [taking] a look at some of the things that may be happening. We are not predicting; we are not forecasting. What we are trying to do is to expose and educate people to ideas and that is the idea of Vision 2025.

DSN: Where will Vision 2025 be located at the show?

Whitman: It will be a virtual physical space … that is not necessarily defined by four walls with an entrance of an exit. It will be on the floor when you get to the bottom of escalators. … Incorporated into Vision 2025 will also be NACDS TV. So, it is going to be a dynamic area.

DSN: What will Checkpoint Systems be presenting?

Steve Perlowski: The thing that we know is going to be radically different in 2025 versus today is almost every product that we sell will probably be serialized. By that I mean that it will have a unique number associated with the product so that … everyone will know where inventory is at all times. … [In pharmacy], it will be critical in helping to prevent counterfeit products from entering the supply chain [and] you will be able to have inventory within every bottle you have in your pharmacy. And this is what [Checkpoint Systems] will show. … The other thing Checkpoint is going to show … is how you can either locate an item, or size, or color on a shelf very quickly with RFID.

DSN: Can you elaborate on Kantar Retail’s display?

Perlowski: It will essentially allow people to walk through what may be a vision of what a retail store might look in an omnichannel environment. … It will be a combination of things. It’s a giant video wall, plus … they will talk about what the future of the supply chain will look like [and] what the future of store operations could be.

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NACDS Total Store Expo to feature FDA presentation on new supply chain law

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — Attendees of this year’s National Association of Chain Drug Stores Total Store Expo in August will have the opportunity to learn directly from the Food and Drug Administration about the implications of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act of 2014.

At the conference, to be held Aug. 23 to 26 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Ilisa B.G. Bernstein, deputy director of the Office of Compliance with the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, will conduct a presentation on the implementation of the law.

Bernstein will speak on Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. during the Insight Session “Drug Supply Chain Security Act: Overview and Implementation.”  As 2015 approaches in just a few months, manufacturers, distributors and supply chain partners are preparing for new phases of implementation of the law. Bernstein’s Insight Session will provide clarity to the many deadlines, definitions and intricacies associated with the implementation process of the new law for pharmacies, manufacturers, distributors and supply chain partners.

“Dr. Bernstein’s presentation at the NACDS Total Store Expo is not only timely, but also demonstrates the depth and breadth of what this trade show provides for NACDS members and the industry,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “NACDS has made it a top priority to continue to advocate and to present education opportunities related to the new supply chain law’s implementation. The NACDS Total Store Expo presents an ideal opportunity to help deliver on that objective.”

Each NACDS Total Store Expo Insight Session is crafted to ensure that attendees are receiving helpful information to conduct business on a day-to-day basis on a variety of issues and priorities including healthcare, business and logistics, NACDS stated. In fact, many of the sessions — including Bernstein’s session — may provide crossover into other segments of the industry where both retailers and suppliers benefit from the presentation. To date, 18 Insight Sessions are scheduled during the trade show.

 

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Mars names Debra Sandler chief health and wellbeing officer

BY Ryan Chavis

MCLEAN, Va. — Mars announced that Debra Sandler has been named chief health and wellbeing officer. Tracey Massey will fill Sandler's previous role as acting president of Mars Chocolate, North America.

The creation of the chief health and wellbeing officer position reflects the priority that health and wellbeing represents for Mars, the company said. It's approach has focused on helping the consumer make well-informed choices, improving the nutritional value of its portfolio, conducting research into nutrition and working to promote active, healthy lifestyles.

“When we reorganized into our business segments in 2008, we concentrated our health-and-wellness efforts within those segments to address the diversity of our product portfolios in chocolate, pet care, food, Wrigley, drinks and Mars Symbioscience,” said Grant F. Reid, co-president of Mars. “Great work has gone on across our businesses under this strategy. This newly created role will help accelerate that progress by creating a comprehensive cross-segment strategy that will drive change across our businesses. Debra will lead our Health & Wellbeing platform through collaboration with our segments and by leveraging our significant lessons learned in this space to date, including depth of consumer insights, data and nutritional research within our segments. Debra has been a change agent in the area of health and wellness, shepherding innovative product options like the lower calorie per pack M&M’s Pretzel variety, demonstrating industry leadership as a member of the Board of the Healthy Weight Commitment and by calling for industry change in her 2013 State of the Industry Speech at the National Confectioner’s Association.”

Sandler joined the company in 2009 as chief consumer officer and was promoted to president of Mars Chocolate North America in 2012. She has a degree in international trade from Hofstra University and an MBA from New York University. Sandler will report to David Kemenetzky, VP corporate affairs and strategic initiatives.

Reid also commented on Massey's appointment as acting president:

“During her time as chocolate CFO, Tracey has demonstrated particular excellence in shaping the vision and strategy, and has led our chocolate growth in emerging markets across the world. Tracey has demonstrated a passion for developing associates and is widely recognized as a unifying leader of the CFOs across the chocolate business. I have complete confidence that she will transition into this new role brilliantly,” Reid said.

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