What role can your brand play in drug stores’ future?
A mile high here at NACDS Marketplace 2012, spirits are riding about as high. All things considered, this is a pretty good time to be in the drug store business.
Pharmacy dollars and scripts are ahead of the overall trend, and on the front-end, dollars and trips are up considerably as consumers are trading trips to the big boxes for more quick trips to the drug store.
There is no denying the role that fresh food is playing in all of this, but in general, drug stores have done a good job of giving consumers one more reason to shop their stores. And that’s going to mean more and more in the future, when the drug store will have to be known for something more than just a place to fill a script.
The drug store of the future will be a place that fills specific and pronounced needs for local shoppers — more food in food deserts; more beauty in high-fashion areas; stores segmented for Hispanic communities, seniors, high-income and low-income. It also will be a place where customers come for unique services; where specially trained health and beauty advisers help shoppers navigate the store and identify new product needs; and where brands help the retailers create a unique experience that shoppers can only get there.
What role can your brand play?
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Q&A: TSE – Trade shows’ next gen
The next generation of trade shows is nearly upon us. Enter NACDS Total Store Expo, which debuts Aug. 10 to 13, 2013. Jim Whitman, SVP member programs and services, and Steve Perlowski, VP industry affairs and member relations, talked with Drug Store News about this new concept, which will combine the Marketplace, Pharmacy and Technology, and Supply Chain and Logistics conferences.
DSN: TSE has been described as a “true laboratory of innovation.” Can you elaborate?
Jim Whitman: [The innovation] will come about in a couple of areas. It is coming out in the expansion, most likely in the [Digital Learning Center]. That is why we are introducing [the center] at the 2012 Marketplace, but you will see it in a different form and format in 2013. … No. 2, if you went online and looked at the floor plan, it shows what we are calling, as a working title right now, … “Centers for Excellence.”
Steve Perlowski: The other thing we are working [on] with a couple of manufacturers is, instead of coming to TSE selling [only] a product or a line, they are coming to sell an idea or a concept. [For example], if a food company has a vision of what health and wellness is, they should come to TSE to share their vision with their customers.
Whitman: Obviously, a company, to a certain extent, has a product [they are selling] and that should be part of TSE. But, what Steve and I are eluding to is, let’s say you are working on obesity, or health and wellness, or nutrition, just to take an area, … we believe it would be ideal for one of these Centers for Excellence or an innovation laboratory or a learning center or a freestanding approach. … Remember, TSE, by the definition itself, is encompassing the total store.
DSN: How can suppliers and retailers prepare for TSE?
Whitman: At Marketplace we are going to have a TSE booth, and we will have a series of meetings going on with people to get them prepared for the ideas and possibilities that can happen at TSE. You’ll see resources on the website. … We want to give everyone as many tools as possible to be successful.
DSN: Anything else you would like to share about TSE?
Whitman: There will be [business] sessions that are somewhat front-end focused, pharmacy and technology focused, and supply chain focused. You’ll be able to pick and choose which ones you want to go to. … There is going to be a very lively, interactive kind of calendar that will be created.
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Meet the Market a staple of Marketplace
DENVER — The 2012 National Association of Chain Drug Stores Marketplace Conference kicked off Saturday morning with a bang as retailers and suppliers gathered for Meet the Market, a special program designed to provide attendees the opportunity to present and be presented with new products.
(For photos, click here.)
“Meet the Market on Saturday has become institutionalized and is one of the distinguishing factors of Marketplace. … We are using some new technology to help refine these meetings,” Jim Whitman, SVP member programs and services, told Drug Store News.
Over the years, Meet the Market undoubtedly has become an institution within Marketplace, pairing suppliers — including many emerging new companies — and retailers in a series of back-to-back-to-back appointments that are prearranged by NACDS.
According to NACDS, nearly 8,000 appointments took place during the one-day program, which started at 9 a.m. and concluded at 4:30 p.m on Saturday. Supplier participants included first-time exhibitors and any exhibitor who has a new product or service that has been launched since July 2011 or will be launched in 2012.
Some advice for new suppliers! Be prepared for short 10-minute meetings and don’t be late. Waste no time with meaningless small talk. Introduce yourself, make a brief elevator pitch about your company and get right to your presentation. Be sure to include some visuals to show your understanding about the product category and business model. Know your costs, SRP’s, and all the basics. Retailers hate when new suppliers are not prepared for a meaningful discussion. www.biernbaum.com