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Reporters Notebook

BY DSN STAFF

Supplier News

Nicole by OPI is unveiling four new nail lacquer shades inspired by the hit show “Gossip Girl.” As part of the tie-in, the Warner Home Video’s DVD release of “Gossip Girl: The Complete Third Season” will feature an exclusive $1-off, in-pack coupon for the new nail lacquers.

The new Nicole by OPI nail lacquer shades include a shimmering green (Nicole … Spotted!); a rich blue (Too Rich for You); a sparkling silver (Scandals, Secrets and Sparkle); and a cool blue (Party in the Penthouse). The new nail lacquer shades will be available at select Target stores in July, and at select Walgreens, Ulta and other retailers in August.

Added Extras has launched a new Hello Kitty-branded beauty collection exclusively at Target. The 38-SKU line includes lip gloss, nail polish, cosmetic bags, press-on nails, hair care and bath and body products. The prices range between $1.99 and $9.99.

Ultimark Products is reviving the Prell shampoo brand with the help of singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel—daughter of musician Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley—who will be the new face of Prell. In the mid-1980s, Brinkley was advertised as the “Prell Girl.” The deal marks Joel’s first ad campaign and includes the original song “Hideaway,” which she wrote and performed for the commercial. Ultimark has partnered with The Emerson Group to distribute Prell throughout the United States.

Executive News

Ulta has appointed former Office Depot executive Chuck Rubin to serve as president and COO. Rubin, who also will serve as a member of the board, assumed his new role on May 10. Following a transition period of up to four months, Rubin will become CEO. Lyn Kirby will continue as CEO through the transition period, and there after will provide guidance and counsel as a member of the company’s board of directors through March 17, 2011.

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Retail clinics: Improved care at a lower cost

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Retail clinics. Save. Money. Without regard to who’s footing the bill exactly — healthcare payer or Jane Patient — retail clinics not only represent a significant cost savings across the board, but by siphoning nonemergency-yet-still-urgent cases out of the emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, retail clinics also can contribute to improved care across the healthcare continuum.

(THE NEWS: Study: Retail clinics save nonemergency patients money. For the full story, click here)

All told there were 119.2 million total ER visits in 2006, up 8.2% as compared with 2004, according to ACEP. Extrapolate that figure with WellPoint’s finding that 19.4% of those visits may be for nonemergencies across the entire nation, and the fuzzy math equates to an approximate 23.1 million non-emergency patients presenting across some 3,833 ERs. For whoever is paying for the cost of care, that’s an expenditure totaling $10.2 billion if every case were to present at an ER; as compared to $1.2 billion if every case were to present at a retail clinic. That’s the cost savings piece.

But cost savings aren’t the only benefit retail clinics afford the overall healthcare system —  there’s a general improvement in care. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, average waiting times for patients triaged with non-emergency ailments at emergency departments range between one and two hours, but only when the ER isn’t crowded. That’s like saying that bee stings don’t hurt, you know, except when they do.

Let’s face it, in a nation of 309 million and counting, there are simply not enough points of care, be it for an emergency or nonemergency situation. Taking nonemergency visits out of emergency rooms would likely improve the efficiency of care for more critical patients, as well as the experience of care for noncritical patients. That’s the improved care piece.

Improved care at a lower cost, that’s what retail clinics bring to the table.

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Tide brings Loads of Hope to Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

NASHVILLE Tide brought its mobile laundromat to a local Dollar General to benefit victims of the recent floods.

Tide’s Loads of Hope program visited a Nashville Dollar General May 12 to provide customers in the area with clean laundry. One truck and a fleet of vans house more than 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. Tide washs, dries and folds the clothes for these families for free.

The Loads of Hope program also benefited victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, in addition to other natural disasters.

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