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Recent news magnifies ‘Power’

BY Rob Eder

It’s been a busy month for news about CVS Caremark, as DSN raced to compile the special report on the company that appears in this issue. Each of the announcements only serves to amplify our “Power of One” theme.

Take its new joint venture with Cardinal Health, which will negotiate prices and source generic drugs for both companies.

Prior to the deal, CVS Caremark had already counted purchasing power among its key advantages. Now CVS Caremark picks up even more scale in the thick of the generic wave — $30 billion worth of brand-name drugs are expected to go generic in the next two years.

Then, there was CVS Caremark’s $2.1 billion acquisition of the Coram specialty infusion business. Specialty pharmacy already is a huge business for the company — estimated to reach more than $20 billion in 2013. With Coram, CVS Caremark is a major player in one of the fastest-growing segments of specialty pharmacy. The $11 billion home infusion services market is growing at about 10% a year.

And then you had the news about Helena Foulkes, who as of Jan. 1, officially takes the helm of the company’s retail business. While it may be slightly more difficult to quantify Foulkes’ value to the business, consider this: ExtraCare, Pharmacy Advisor and Maintenance Choice are three of the most innovative and game-changing programs the company has introduced in the past two decades; Foulkes has played a critical role in the development of each. She has made a career out of designing programs around the needs of the consumer, and DSN expects a lot of excitement to come out of the stores under her leadership.


Rob Eder is the editor in chief of The Drug Store News Group, publishers of Drug Store News and DSN Collaborative Care magazines. You can contact him at reder@lf.com.

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RetailNet shares Amazon insights

BY Michael Johnsen

WALTHAM, Mass. — Amazon is on a course trajectory that will see the online juggernaut command 30% of all online sales by 2016, according to a RetailNet Group projection shared by Keith Anderson, VP digital strategy, during a recent webcast on GMDC Connect, powered by Telepresence.

As part of a session titled “Amazon in Focus,” Anderson provided a comprehensive understanding of Amazon’s complex business model in one hour.

What’s most important to Amazon’s success is that shoppers perceive the retailer sells virtually everything that is available. Amazon has positioned itself as the go-to for product research, Anderson noted. “Amazon now is the preferred starting point for product research for around 30% of those researching products online, which is [more than] double the percentage that start with Google,” he said.

The AmazonFresh expansion could change the economics of same-day delivery with high-frequency deliveries on Amazon trucks, as opposed to Fed-Ex or UPS, plus 200,000 general merchandise SKUs. “Somewhere between a half dozen and 20 markets, everywhere from New York City to perhaps Dallas, Denver, Phoenix … are under consideration for expansion next year.”

“… AmazonFresh really represents in the end the ability, we believe, to offer same-day delivery … profitably to as much as 80% of the population,” Anderson suggested. “More realistically over the next 18 to 36 months, 50% of the population.”

To watch the video, click here.

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Publix donates $25,000 to Food for All

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets has donated $25,000 to a local hunger-relief organization, the Florida-based supermarket chain said.

Publix made the donation to Food for All as part of its Sprinkle Joy campaign, announced earlier this month on its Facebook and Twitter pages, allowing users to make virtual holiday cookies; the filling of the cookie jar triggered donations to charitable organizations.

"The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends and to create those special moments that sprinkle the most joy in our lives," Publix director of media and community relations Maria Brous said. "This holiday season, we wanted the joy and service our customers experience in our stores to be extended to our online social platforms and communities we serve. Inviting our customers to give back and make a difference to those in most need this holiday season has been the most rewarding experience."

 

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