Walgreens sees more staffing changes
NEW YORK Look for more changes in the look and feel of the Walgreens drug store.
That could be the ultimate effect of the shakeup in purchasing management this week, as Walgreens jettisoned three key front-end decision-makers and announced it was on the hunt for fresh thinking in front-store merchandising. As the sweeping Customer Centric Retailing project led by Chong Bang works its way through every non-pharmacy department in the store, customers will see more changes in the way Walgreens presents everything from beauty and wellness products to toothpaste and batteries.
Headed for the exits this week are the veteran category managers in charge of three core areas of the Walgreens drug store: Bill Hubbs, divisional VP/general merchandise manager for seasonal and sundry; Arnie Silver, divisional VP/GMM for consumables; and Kathy Steirly, divisional VP/GMM for beauty. Their departure, after years of effectively managing these huge categories, signals that Walgreens is serious about truly shaking up its merchandising strategy and inducing the millions of customers who walk through its aisles each day to put more in their shopping carts.
The company has acknowledged that their replacements could come from either Walgreens’ own ranks or from outside; the unanswered question is what the shift in category management means long-term for both the way product is displayed and signed at the front end, and the actual products customers will see on the shelves, endcaps and freestanding in-aisle displays.
Two things seem certain, however. First, the product mix will be more trimmed-down and condensed, and geared more to the “affordable essentials” Walgreens now says it must do a better job of offering the nation’s consumers in a time of economic belt-tightening. And secondly, Chong Bang’s team is likely to play a big role in whatever purchasing decisions are made as the company moves forward with its effort to make the customer the center of its retooling campaign.
Mylan co-founder Milan “Mike” Puskar to retire
PITTSBURGH The chairman of the board and co-founder of generic drug maker Mylan will retire from his position, Mylan announced Thursday.
Milan “Mike” Puskar will step down as chairman of the board, replaced by vice chairman and CEO Robert Coury. Puskar said he will retire as a director effective Oct. 1.
“On behalf of the board of directors and all of Mylan’s employees and shareholders, I would like to personally thank Mike Puskar for his many accomplishments; his impact on the industry; and for his service and leadership,” Coury said in a statement upon his election as board chairman. “Mike will truly, truly be missed.”
Puskar co-founded the company as a privately held drug distributor in 1961 with Don Panoz. He has been chairman of the board since 1993 and a director in the company for 33 years, serving as president from 1976 to 2000 and as CEO from 2000 to 2002.
“The time has come for met o step down as chairman, and I am more than confident that under Robert’s passionate and strategic direction, Mylan will continue to provide leadership for an industry that is continually evolving,” Puskar stated. “Robert has taken what we started almost 50 years ago and turned it into a global powerhouse with a vast reach that is unique among our peers.”
Target reports April sales results
MINNEAPOLIS Target reported that its net retail sales for the four weeks ended May 2, 2009 were approximately $4.45 million, an increase of 4.5% from $4.25 million for the four weeks ended May 3, 2008.
On this same basis, April comparable-store sales increased 0.3%.
“April sales results were in line with our guidance for the month,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO Target Corp. “For the first quarter overall, retail segment financial performance was significantly better than expected, and the credit card segment performed in line with our prior guidance. As a result, we expect first quarter earnings per share results to be well above the current median First Call estimate of 52 cents.”
Year-to-date sales are approximately $14.36 million.