A ‘solution for sick; destination for healthy’
What were once 13 distinct and autonomous grocery banners—Acme, Albertsons, Shaw’s, to name a few—are operating more as one central retailer. It’s the super-fusion of the company, Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert recently told analysts, a fusion that will afford the company greater synergies with a buying power that can be efficiently leveraged across a supply chain that serves not only its 2,350 owned locations, but also some 1,900 independent grocers.
The super-fusion of the company also will make it easier for vendors to approach Supervalu. “We need to be less complex for our suppliers to talk to; we are clearly the most complex large grocery in America today to talk to,” Herkert acknowledged. Supervalu recently brought on board 20-year Kraft veteran Steve Youngman as EVP merchandising to help streamline procurement and merchandising initiatives. Now, not only will the actual buying decision be made in Eden Prairie, Minn., planograms created at headquarters also will be homogenous across all of Supervalu’s stores, no matter what the banner.
“With the start of the new year, I want you to know that I’m approaching fiscal 2011 optimistically,” Herkert told analysts during a separate third-quarter conference call this January. “This isn’t because I see a robust pickup in the economy, because frankly I don’t. It is because I believe Supervalu is running its business better, and that means we’re in control of our own destiny.”
Meanwhile, Supervalu’s pharmacy operations will continue to emphasize the pharmacy as a “solution center for the sick and a destination for the healthy,” Chris Dimos, Supervalu pharmacy president, recently told Drug Store News. “We work very closely in the pharmacy group with our grocery teams to deliver a whole, health-focused shopping experience.” Supervalu’s health-and-wellness offerings cut across three platforms: diabetes care, medication therapy management and preventative care, which encompasses immunizations, weight management and health screenings.
“[In the coming] year, we’re looking to continue the focus on heart-health awareness, and add components around preventing and delaying diabetes so those people who are prediabetic or have the risk factors to become diabetic [can participate],” Dimos said.
For example, Supervalu currently conducts healthy store tours through more than 400 Supervalu locations.
Headquarters: Eden Prairie, Minn.2009 sales: $41.9 billion*% change vs. 2008: -5.9%No. of stores: 2,350No. of stores with Rx: 850Avg. store size: 60,000 sq. ft.Rx sales: $2.0 billion% of sales from Rx: 5.8%Sales per store: $14 million
* Total sales for the fiscal year ended Feb. 27 include $32.9 billion in retail sales and $9 billion in supply chain servicesSource: Company reports, Drug Store News
Schnucks’ O’Brien to serve on Department of Agriculture advisory committee
ST. LOUIS An executive from Schnuck Markets will serve on an advisory committee of the Department of Agriculture, Schnucks said this week.
Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Schnucks VP produce and floral Mike O’Brien would be one of 25 people appointed to a two-year term on the USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. O’Brien is also vice chairman of the Produce Marketing Association.
“I am honred to represent Schnuck Markets and the retail produce industry as a member of this committee,” O’Brien said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute and to make a difference for families across the nation.”
The committee, originally chartered in 2001, advises the secretary of agriculture on industry issues related to fruits and vegetables.
Gilead commences phase 3 trial for single-tablet HIV treatment
FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences has started a late-stage clinical trial of an investigational 4-in-1 treatment for HIV, the drug maker said.
Gilead announced the initiation of a phase 3 trial of its “Quad” HIV drug, a single-tablet treatment that combines elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. The study will compare the Quad regimen with the standard of care among adults with HIV-1 who have not taken antiretroviral treatments. The company is also investigating cobicistat as a standalone boosting agent for antiretroviral drugs.
“We are pleased to announce that the Quad phase 3 clinical program is underway,” Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said. “Efficacy and safety results from the phase 2 study suggest that the Quad may represent an important new option for patients with HIV.”