PHARMACY

ShopRite adds dietitians, mobile spaces

BY Antoinette Alexander

ShopRite is striving to help its shoppers shop right by focusing on health and wellness and added convenience. To help customers live healthier lives, the grocer has, at select locations, an on-site registered dietitian. 


Wakefern implemented the retail dietitian program in 2006, and today there are 20 retail dietitians working in 23 ShopRite locations.


This free service offers customers the opportunity to discuss their health and dietary needs with a nutrition professional to create customized meal plans. The dietitian can educate customers on a number of issues, including how to shop for healthy meals and proper nutrition for specific medical conditions, and can schedule monthly screenings for specific health issues, such as diabetes and high cholesterol.


The dietitians are available to walk the aisles with customers for a personal touch, but there also are in-store shelf tags — e.g., gluten-free, organic, natural, fat-free, low-fat, sugar-free, reduced sugar, no sugar added and low sodium — to help customers navigate the aisles.


Online shoppers will find weekly articles and healthy “Right for Tonight” recipes that are posted by the corporate dietitian, and there’s also an Ask the Dietitian feature on the site to help educate consumers. In store, the grocer also offers monthly screenings for specific health issues, such as glucose screenings during November and cholesterol screenings in September.

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PHARMACY

Rx focus pulls Kinney through recession

BY Antoinette Alexander

While the economic downturn battered retailers across all channels, new pharmacy services and a new state-of-the-art pharmacy system has helped regional player Kinney Drugs weather the storm.


Kinney Drugs, which opened its first store in 1903 and today operates 90 locations, completed in 2010 the rollout of its new pharmacy system and, as a result, is now able to offer new services such as ReadyScripts. ReadyScripts is an automated refill program that is married with outbound messaging for patient reminders and free prescription delivery for those patients with little or no mobility.


Through a partnership with a central New York hospital, Kinney Drugs also is offering computer-assisted dispensing machines for the home setting and mobility chairs.


Kinney Drugs previously had been providing vaccinations only at its Vermont locations but, thanks to changes in New York state regulations, the retailer is now offering immunizations in its New York pharmacy locations as of mid-2010.


Looking ahead, the company indicated that it is planning to grow its store base by 2% to 4% each year, and also is interested in acquiring independent operators to establish a customer base in 
new markets.

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Meijer disputes belief that nothing is free

BY Alaric DeArment

The Midwest is known for flat landscapes and fertile farm fields stretching to the horizon, but it also is home to one of the country’s oldest and most successful mass merchandise chains — one with a long history of strong emphasis on pharmacy programs.


Where a growing number of chains have adopted generic discount programs, Meijer has taken to giving many drugs away for free. The list of medications that customers can obtain at no charge now includes metformin for Type 2 diabetes, prenatal vitamins and most antibiotics.


The chain also offers a variety of screenings for diabetes, cholesterol, liver function and blood pressure, as well as programs for combating obesity, such as body mass index and weight management information and education. Immunizations offered include seasonal flu, pneumococcal and shingles vaccines, all available on a walk-up basis.


The company, which currently has 195 stores, plans to open two more in the fall and has been expanding in Chicago with small-format stores of 90,000 sq. ft. that are focused on grocery and pharmacy.

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