Tennis superstar Chris Evert joins team Osteo Bi-Flex

BY Michael Johnsen

The Nature’s Bounty Co. on Thursday announced its partnership with seven-time No. 1 professional tennis player Chris Evert and its joint care brand Osteo Bi-Flex. Together with Osteo Bi-Flex, Evert will help reinforce the brand’s commitment to leading the call for movement.

“With 157 singles titles and 18 grand slams under her belt, Chris Evert knows quite a few things about dedication, perseverance and what it takes to stay at the top of her game,” Chris O’Connor, vice president brand marketing for Osteo Bi-Flex, said. “Osteo Bi-Flex is dedicated to producing products that help people stay as active physically as they are mentally, and Chris truly embodies this, making her the ideal brand advocate.”

This recent brand partnership is the next stage in Osteo Bi-Flex’s commitment to leading the call for movement; supporting and encouraging millions of Americans to continue doing the activities they enjoy most in life. After years of playing professional tennis, Evert aims to keep as active as she can in her current role of educating aspiring tennis players. However, over time the game can place repeated stress on the body, including the joints, causing many players to be concerned about their joint health. Evert has spent her entire tennis career doing what she loves and aims to continue doing so.

“Ever since I was young I knew that I wanted to devote my life to tennis. Having started in the sport with my father, my love of the game is in my blood and it’s something that I truly enjoy doing on a daily basis,” Evert, said. “Even though I am getting older, I never want to stop playing the game that I love, and I have no plans of slowing down. I’m excited to partner with Osteo Bi-Flex because they understand that we were made to move and support joint comfort so you can continue living your life to the fullest and doing what you love.”


Leave a Reply

No comments found



Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?

Flu is gaining foothold in Northeast, Walgreens reports

BY Michael Johnsen

While the flu continues to appear most prevalent in the deep South, influenza illness appears to be gaining a foothold in the Northeast, according to the latest Walgreens Flu Index released Wednesday. Outside of the South, Connecticut, New Jersey and North Carolina are seeing significant gains in flu activity.

Texas markets, however, still dominated the top 10 designated market areas with flu activity for the week ended Jan. 27. The top 10 markets were:

  1. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  2. Corpus Christi, Texas;
  3. Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas;
  4. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas;
  5. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  6. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas;
  7. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City & Dubuque, Iowa;
  8. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.;
  9. San Antonio; and
  10. Chattanooga, Tenn.

The top 10 markets with flu activity gains for the period were:

  1. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  2. Chattanooga, Tenn.;
  3. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City & Dubuque, Iowa;
  4. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas;
  5. Tulsa, Okla.;
  6. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.;
  7. San Antonio;
  8. Wilmington, N.C.;
  9. Joplin, Mo.-Pittsburg, Kan.; and
  10. Austin, Texas.

The top 10 states with flu activity gains were:

  1. Oklahoma;
  2. Texas;
  3. Connecticut;
  4. Nebraska;
  5. New Jersey;
  6. North Carolina;
  7. Iowa;
  8. Arkansas;
  9. Deleware; and
  10. Kansas.

The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranks those states and markets experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. The Flu Index provides insight by showing which cities or metropolitan areas are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity.

The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide, including Walgreens locations in Puerto Rico. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.


Leave a Reply

No comments found



Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
Bridging the Gap panel

Bridging the gap: Closing the distance between the pharmacy and front store

BY David Orgel

For being in such close proximity, sometimes the distance between the pharmacy counter and the rest of the retail operation seems longer than it should.

That perceived distance creates complications for busy pharmacists trying to engage with teams and consumers in the front store, even as they manage their own workloads. Industry leaders say it’s imperative to improve this situation so that the entire retail operation can act as an effective, integrated health destination.

“I remember working as a pharmacist behind the counter, needing to rely on my teams in the front of the store to make sure they stocked the right items, or to actually go out and counsel patients about items out front,” said Philecia Avery, founder and principal at Cincinnati-based Philecia Dayle LLC, who was a former vice president of pharmacy at Kroger. “So bridging the gap between pharmacy and the front of store is a topic that’s very near and dear to me.”

Philecia Avery

Moderator Philecia Avery

The need to bridge that gap is generating more discussion across the industry at a time of changing consumer attitudes and growing competition from a wider range of retailers — both brick-and-mortar and virtual. Industry leaders said that achieving success requires collaboration across the health ecosystem; improved consumer insights; effective technology and analytics; and a true understanding of the importance of educating consumers.

They made these points during a panel at the recent DSN Industry Issues Summit in New York City, which focused on the best ways to make progress. One of those ways is to foster a spirit of collaboration with associates, according to executives.

To view a PDF of this story as it appeared in print, click here.

“It really starts from the top down with our merchant teams,” said Craig Norman, senior vice president at San Antonio-based H-E-B. “All of our merchants are very collaborative. We’re very communicative with each other. A great example is the collaboration between my pharmacy team and our drug store and beauty teams. We know what’s going on in all of our respective areas. This presents an opportunity and an atmosphere for our pharmacy partners, who are our employees, to really play on both sides of the counter from the pharmacy and OTC, drug and beauty perspectives.”

Acting as a true health destination
At Rite Aid, collaboration is crucial to making sure the pharmacy and the rest of the store operate together as a health destination, said Tammy Royer, Rite Aid senior vice president of pharmacy operations. “We have a very collaborative relationship with our category management and merchandising teams to make sure that we’re offering products and services across the store that can assist people who want to improve their health,” she said. “It’s different for each person, and we have to try and be smart about personalizing that for them.”

Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid looks at the challenge from both sides of the store. On the one hand, Royer said, associates spend a lot of time considering how to engage the pharmacy customer with the front end.

Tammy Royer of Rite Aid

Rite Aid’s Tammy Royer

“But we also see from our loyalty information that we have a lot of people that shop only front end and often promotionally, but aren’t utilizing the pharmacy. How can we make sure they see the value of the pharmacist who is there?” Royer said.

One of Rite Aid’s solutions is its Wellness Ambassadors, whose purpose is to engage the customer base and bring it to the pharmacy.

“That wellness ambassador is key to making sure customers are visiting the pharmacy and having conversations with the pharmacist,” she said. “So when it’s flu season, for example, the ambassadors have the ability to talk to people and ask them if they want to come back and talk to the pharmacist about immunizations.”

Brian Owens, vice president at Boston-based Kantar Retail, observed that changes in the industry make it important to shrink the divide between pharmacy and the front of store. These changes include the industry’s move to more of an outcome-based system, Amazon looming into the space and younger generations bringing new attitudes about privacy and trust. He called this an exciting time to make progress, in which “there’s a huge opportunity right now for us to work with each other.”

Bringing tech to bear
Analytics and technology have important roles to play in advancing the role of the entire store as a health destination, executives said. This includes freeing up the pharmacist to help focus on health care.

Cardinal Health’s John Fiacco

Cardinal Health’s John Fiacco

“It means creating programs for retail independents that are going to free them up, whether it’s inventory management, reconciliation or other things that take time,” said John Fiacco, vice president of pharmacy transition services at Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health. “This enables you to reposition the pharmacist and the pharmacy as a healthcare destination, making sure the pharmacist is out in front and promoting that.”

Having the pharmacist come out from behind the counter can leave a lasting impression on consumers, said Ben Doepke, principal of insight and strategy at Cincinnati-based IX, which leverages a range of disciplines that include psychology, anthropology, sociology and neurobiology.

“I know it’s a function of time to some extent, but it doesn’t take that much time to come around the counter,” he said. “Have you ever checked into a hotel where they come around the front, and there will be six, seven, eight people behind you in line, and this guy still comes out from behind the counter to give you the key and show you where the elevators are? It costs that guy 10, 15 seconds. And it’s worth it. It makes you feel great.”

Pharmacists can be empowered by having more personalized information, said Lari Harding, vice president of product marketing at Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar.

Inmar's Lari Harding

Inmar’s Lari Harding

“There’s so much data that gets created, and it’s important to use that data to push out to consumers’ personalized information,” Harding said. “You want to show, ‘I know what you’re shopping for, I know what you care about, I know what’s important to you.”

Pivoting to prevention
Health professionals realize the challenges involved in serving the patient, who doesn’t yet have a chronic condition, and whose biggest need is preventing one. Avery positioned this topic in a way that underscored its importance.

“How do we bridge the gap for this person to ensure they have what they need?” she said. “So it’s not just about the chronic state, but about this holistic person who’s walking around trying to prevent hypertension or diabetes. How do we have that conversation with them when they’re not in that chronic condition state?”

Owens said the industry does a very good job “from a sick-care standpoint,” but added that when a patient doesn’t have a chronic condition is when “I feel like we have to work harder.”

He said, “I feel as though where we’re falling short is that we’re not doing enough for those folks who are part of that at-risk population. What does self-care look like in that environment?”

Craig Norman

H-E-B’s Craig Norman, center, with Kantar Retail’s Brian Owen’s and Rite Aid’s Tammy Royer

H-E-B’s Norman said his company’s embrace of registered dietitians has fostered the ability to boost consumer education about a wide range of solutions.

“Using RDs in a supermarket environment is just fantastic,” he said. “We have begun down that path, albeit just a beginning. The customers absolutely love this interaction. They love to understand how they can shop our stores more efficiently, and understand what are the great items that are really good for them, and what are those items that maybe aren’t the healthiest, but that they can have every once in a while in their particular situation.”

The importance of fostering consumer education needs to be a conversation topic between retailers and their partners, Harding asserted.

“You need to put that education hat on when you’re working on programs with your vendor partners, or with your community partners, or employers, or anyone else,” she said. “You need to say hey, you’ve got a goal or objective that you need to meet, let’s see how we can work education into this. Because the more educated we make all of these patients, the better our outcomes are going to be, which is ultimately what our goal is.”


Leave a Reply

No comments found



Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?