PHARMACY

Rolling out diabetes center, app

BY Antoinette Alexander

In line with industry trends, Wakefern’s Shop-Rite continues to sharpen its focus on health and wellness. Among the most recent developments is a Diabetes Center at its Flemington, N.J., location that was developed in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson. The Flemington ShopRite marks the first location to feature the center, but the company plans to implement it in additional stores in the near future.

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With the new Diabetes Center, Wakefern’s ShopRite and J&J are striving to care for the customer as a whole, with a focus on reinforcing all aspects of diabetic care from monitoring and nutrition management to medication, education and total body care, Kimberly Gallene, category manager in HBC, and Natalie Menza, manager of health and wellness at Wakefern, recently told Drug Store News.

Opened on Feb. 25, the Diabetes Center includes more than 100 items across seven categories, including pharmacy. It is strategically located next to the pharmacy and the dietitian’s office so that store health professionals are easily accessible to answer specific questions that customers may have.

In addition to products, the destination delivers education in the form of signage, brochures and an onsite tablet that links directly to the ShopRite.com/diabetes Web page for additional information.

Customers also can benefit from ShopRite’s in-store dietitian’s free services to help manage their dietary restrictions. ShopRite dietitians offer one-on-one consultation, as well as group workshops and seminars on many health-related topics.

In pharmacy, ShopRite is promoting its new pharmacy app to help patients manage their prescriptions through their iPhone, iPad or Android device. The free app enables users to refill prescriptions, view prescription profiles, transfer a prescription, get drug information and find the nearest ShopRite pharmacy.

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PHARMACY

Becoming a stronger pharmacy player

BY Michael Johnsen

A year ago, Fred’s Super Dollar was looking for buyers. Today, Fred’s Super Dollar has become the buyer having most recently acquired the specialty pharmacy business EntrustRx. While the southeast discounter generated moderate year-over-year sales growth of 1.6% for fiscal 2014, the company has its future square in its sites with an emphasis on pharmacy and specialty pharmacy. Fred’s has projected sales growth in the coming fiscal year to eclipse 10%.

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Pharmacy is integral to those growth projections and today accounts for 44% of Fred’s business. In 2015, Jerry Shore, Fred’s Super Dollar’s freshman CEO, expected Fred’s pharmacy business, both retail and specialty, to make up more than 50% of Fred’s revenues.

“Our pharmacy business, which continues to be our most profitable department of Fred’s, grew at an even faster pace in 2014,” Shore told analysts in March. “During the year, we improved our penetration of stores with pharmacies from 52% to 58% at year end,” he said. Ultimately, Fred’s wants a store base that consists between 65% and 70% retail pharmacies.

To that end, in the past six months Shore has amassed a team of proven retail executives, with experience spanning across the dollar channel, retail pharmacy and mass. Fred’s named Mike Bloom president and COO in January. Bloom comes to Fred’s from Family Dollar and CVS Health. In March, Shore and Bloom rounded out the senior executive management team with the addition of Walgreens veteran Bryan Pugh and the promotions of Craig Barnes, a one-time AutoZone executive, and Mike Holligan, who got his start with Walmart.

Fred’s isn’t forgetting its dollar channel heritage. “We perform a role in these rural markets that is very important for the consumer,” Bloom said. “I see us being a very strong [dollar store/ pharmacy] hybrid model, with a great pharmacy business [and] a strong health-and-beauty aid business. But it’s very important that we balance that with that general merchandise [selection].”

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Health in a high-gloss setting

BY Jim Frederick

Building on its strong service reputation and a solid foundation of loyal shoppers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, Wegmans will continue its slow but steady expansion as it extends its menu of health-and-wellness offerings.

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Even though Wegmans reports that it opens “just two or three new stores each year,” at least another 10 new openings are planned, including stores in Alexandria, Va.; Concordville, Pa.; and Westwood, Mass. Longer term, another four new supermarkets with pharmacies are in the development pipeline for Virginia, along with two more in New Jersey and another new store in Maryland, according to the company.

Driving the company’s success: a solid reputation for delivering what it calls “a nearly telepathic level of customer service,” provided by motivated employees. Wegmans scored No. 7 on Fortune Magazine’s list of the 100 best companies to work for in 2015. In February, the company also scored No. 1 for corporate reputation among the 100 most visible companies in the 16th annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study.

Wegmans’ 85 in-store pharmacies extend its service reputation with a battery of new and ongoing preventive care programs, including adult immunizations; nearly 60 generic drugs offered at $4 for a 30-day supply; free home shipping of prescriptions; an auto-refill program; and a Wegmans Pharmacy Online service that gives customers “quick and easy access to prescription information,” according to the company.

Also available: a disease management program for Type 2 diabetics launched in 2014, and an individualized pharmacist consultation and screening program for patients with hypertension. Under its ongoing “Eat Well Live Well” program, Wegmans also offers healthy-eating store tours, special dietary advice and nutritional choices for customers dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure, food allergies, gluten intolerance and other conditions.

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