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Wegmans raises more than $300,000 for United Way of Buffalo and Erie County

BY Michael Johnsen

BUFFALO, N.Y. — During the month of September, Wegmans cashiers asked customers to make a small donation to the United Way in its Buffalo Division, which includes Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Jamestown and Erie, Pa. The scan campaign allows customers to donate $1, $2, $3, $5 or any other amount at checkout with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, United Way of Erie, Pa., United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, and the United Way of Niagara County.
 
“We’re grateful to our customers and employees for recognizing the vital role that the United Way plays in our community,” said Mike Keating, SVP, Buffalo Wegmans Food Markets. “We have such a generous community in Western New York and Erie, Pa., and these results are an example of that.”
 
The United Way has recognized three specific areas to address in the Western New York community: education, income and health-and-wellness; $311,420 raised from this campaign will help make positive changes in those key community indicators.
 
"Once again, Wegmans has proven its place as one of our most community-minded companies," said Michael Weiner, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County president and CEO. "Improving our community is at the heart of what they do every day, and they are consistently able to inspire their customers to join them in making a difference — and for that we are truly grateful."
 
The United Way scan campaign at Wegmans has raised more than $1.2 million dollars in the Buffalo Division since it began in 2010.
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Kline study: Ethnic beauty market gives way to increased competition

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The multicultural beauty market continues to outpace growth of the overall market for cosmetics and toiletries, posting a 3.7% increase in 2014, as many ethnic brands broaden their reach to target a wider audience, regardless of ethnicity, according to a report by global consulting and research firm Kline & Co.
 
According to Kline’s report, "Multicultural Beauty and Grooming Products: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities," rapidly growing ethnic populations have given way to intensified competition and catch multicultural beauty marketers breaking boundaries between general and multicultural beauty. On one end, there are such brands as Carol’s Daughter that are positioning away from being an exclusive ethnic brand to also target a broader audience, regardless of ethnicity. This holds particularly true in the natural personal care segment where ethnic hair brand Shea Moisture now is rebranding to become suitable for all consumers.
 
“This widening approach helps move multicultural brands beyond the ethnic section of the beauty aisle to sit side-by-side nationally advertised brands,” said Donna Barson, senior associate at Kline’s Consumer Products practice. “However, this audience expansion needs to be done without alienating long-time consumers who might feel deserted if they feel like their brand no longer speaks exclusively to them.”
 
Concurrently, mainstream brands continue to develop tactics to capture a growing percentage of the ethnic personal care market. While such mainstream brands as Revlon, Lancôme and CoverGirl have long reached ethnic consumers with the creative use of spokesmodels and targeted advertising, the approach for many brands has become even more savvy and genuine. Some marketers, including Estée Lauder and Shiseido, use beauty advisors who speak the language of the local ethnic community, whether it is Mandarin, Vietnamese or Spanish, to create a greater connection with these consumers. Some also launch products targeting certain ethnic groups in the United States that are simultaneously released in that group’s country of origin.
 
According to Kline, the movement of mainstream companies into the multicultural space will not only open possibilities of more M&A in the coming years, but it will also be beneficial for consumers as they will be provided with a wider array of products targeting their needs.

For smaller multicultural companies, this means a need to innovate in order to gain sales and create a niche for themselves or position themselves for a potential acquisition. In addition, the competition coming from the general market is also blurring the lines and having a challenging impact on the multicultural marketers, according to Kline.
 
During the forecast period through 2019, researchers project that the ethnic beauty market will continue to face intense competition from general cosmetic and toiletry brands, and the fine line between mainstream and multicultural markets will continue to blur. However, competition will give an incentive for a surge of innovative, quality products entering the market.

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H. D. Smith named a finalist of the 2014 Illinois Family Business of the Year Awards

BY Michael Johnsen

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — H. D. Smith was recently announced as a finalist of the 2014 Illinois Family Business of the Year Awards in two categories. H. D. Smith was a finalist for the Large Family Business of the Year Award and the Community Service Award, the wholesaler announced Tuesday.
 
Presented by Loyola University Chicago, the Illinois Family Business of the Year Awards have been supporting family-owned businesses in the state for the last 24 years. The awards program recognizes exceptional Illinois-based family businesses that demonstrate a strong commitment to business development, family and Illinois communities.
 
“It is quite an honor to be named among the best in family businesses throughout Illinois,” said Dale Smith, H. D. Smith chairman and CEO, whose father started the business in 1954 with a staff of three. “To grow from such humble beginnings to a nationwide leader in the healthcare industry is something the Smith family is very proud to continue.”
 
The company first opened a distribution warehouse in Springfield, Ill., and expanded to reach all major U.S. markets throughout the last 60 years. Now, the company has 16 locations, including three in Illinois, and employs more than 1,000 associates.
 
The Smith family instilled a rich heritage of caring for each community, whether that’s through reliable distribution of pharmaceuticals or supporting community organizations like the United Way, the company stated.
 
“Giving back to the community was instilled in our family values long ago,” said Chris Smith, H. D. Smith president and COO. “We recognize the value of supporting each community we are part of, and support any H. D. Smith associate who wishes to do so with us.”
 
An awards gala honoring the winners and finalists, as well as the tradition, dedication and success of the family enterprise, will take place Nov. 12 in Chicago.
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