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What to expect from Bloom, Sansone

BY Rob Eder

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Family Dollar is on a mission to increase traffic to its stores — of which it intends to build twice as many in fiscal 2012 as it did in fiscal 2011 — and grow its market basket. That has meant a growing emphasis on what it considers its consumables business, a substantial portion of which is constituted by health and beauty aids. As part of a long-term strategy to create an improved shopping experience and enhance customer loyalty, it expanded consumables into 5,800 stores over the past year.

(THE NEWS: Mike Bloom resigns from CVS/pharmacy, assumes president, COO role at Family Dollar. For the full story, click here)

With former CVS/pharmacy executive Mike Bloom in charge of operations, merchandising, marketing, global sourcing and supply chain, you can say that the 7,000-store chain has tapped a new leader with considerable experience in these areas. The former EVP merchandising and supply chain turned many heads in drug store retailing as a key architect of CVS’ Project Life prototype store, which set about a trend in the industry of dropping gondola heights to create clearer sight lines to pharmacy, and introducing new way-finding solutions that not only made the stores easier to shop, but enabled customers to shop the stores on their own terms. Working closely with VP beauty care Cheryl Mahoney, Bloom’s vision also helped create store-next-to-a-store prestige beauty concept, Beauty360.

For Family Dollar, you most likely can expect some new variations on store layout and space management, and perhaps even a new iteration of its current prototype as Bloom looks to bring more cache and appeal to the dollar store shopping experience. You also can expect the 30-year drug store veteran to keep the momentum going on the growth of its consumables business, which increased in the most recent sales quarter to nearly 70% of sales, up more than 180 basis points over the same period one year ago.

Meanwhile, back at CVS, Judy Strauss Sansone inherits responsibility for that chain’s merchandising operation. Sansone, a 30-year CVS vet, has had extensive experience in several areas of the business, including operations, purchasing and merchandising. Sansone was a key member of the acquisition-integration teams that brought the former Eckerd and Sav-on/Osco stores into the CVS fold. Importantly, as a merchant, Sansone has meaningful experience in all core components of the front-end, including consumer health, HBA, GM, consumables and photo. Equally important, she is well regarded among the vendor community. But Sansone also has important merchandising in the 30,000-ft.-high-view sense. Most recently, Sansone had been charged with the “go-forward strategy for the merchandising area of the company, which is responsible for retail design, store layout and optimization, and space management,” CVS noted.

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Humana, Walmart offer Medicare Part D prescription drug plan

BY Alaric DeArment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Humana will offer Medicare Part D beneficiaries a prescription drug plan co-branded with Wal-Mart Stores, the two companies said Monday.

The plan, originally launched in 2010, will be launched again for 2012 and will include savings on monthly plan premiums, prescription drug copayments and cost-shares for beneficiaries.

The Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan offers a monthly plan premium of $15.10, which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated will be the lowest plan premium in 2012 for a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan in the country. Copayments for some generic drugs will be $1 after deductibles, compared with $2 this year, and copayments will be free for prescriptions filled via Humana’s RightSourceRx mail-order prescription service.

The companies said the plan would offer Medicare Part D beneficiaries cost savings and convenience from the preferred pharmacy network of more than 4,000 Walmart, Sam’s Club, Walmart Neighborhood Market and Walmart Express retail pharmacies.


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Les Hamilton joins Hyland’s

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES — Hyland’s on Monday named Les Hamilton as its VP sales. In his new role, Hamilton will be responsible for guiding the company’s sales organization and developing and implementing sales strategy.

“I have known Les for many years and I am confident that he brings to Hyland’s the right mix of experience, accomplishment and culture that aligns perfectly with our core values,” Hyland’s president Dale Nepsa said. “Les will be working closely with our outstanding sales teams in both natural foods and food, drug and mass merchandisers. He will be a valued member of our senior management team, providing a comprehensive sales perspective to the operations of our company.”

Hamilton joins Hyland’s from The Emerson Group, where he served as field sales manager. While with The Emerson Group, Hamilton managed accounts of all sizes, most recently managing the Target business for all of Emerson’s over-the-counter products. Hamilton’s prior experience includes almost 10 years at Target, where he held different positions, including category manager for numerous pharmacy categories and all OTC private-label items.

Hamilton graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree in both marketing and management.

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