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Winning the New General Market consumer

BY DSN STAFF

 

Drug Store News and the Mack Elevation Forum have partnered to create a new, multitiered industry leadership platform that will assemble an intimate group of CPG brands that emotionally connect with today’s changing consumer. The New General Market Leadership Forum will bring together leading companies that have demonstrated commitment to building a strong community and thought leadership with a diverse consumer base.

“We will bring together companies who are very inclusive and that build relationships with consumers based on their aspirations and values — not just their demographics,” said DSN publisher Wayne Bennett. “We are also reaching out to companies who embrace millennials and multicultural consumers, since they are major catalysts of this societal shift.”

Mack Elevation Forum managing director Dan Mack added: “We hope to spark a conversation with the industry — including top retailers — sharing how some of the top brands are building authentic, emotional relationships with today’s changing consumer and the in-store implications associated with that. The focus will include addressing the aspirations of the new consumer, their unmet needs and points of view, as well as how we think about the in-store experience, product groupings and activation.”

The leadership program will consist of a group of special brands that are committed to today’s diverse consumer, “The New General Market.” Sundial Brands, a pioneer in identifying and responding to this cultural shift, has been an essential partner in the development of this platform.

Other leading brands committed — including Sundial Brands (Shea Moisture), Beiersdorf (Nivea), Paris Presents (Eco-Tools, Real Techniques Brushes), Wahl Clippers Trimmers & Massagers, Unilever (Dove, Axe), Fleet (Summer’s Eve), Mentholatum, Hello Oral Care & Kao Brand’s (Biore and John Frieda) — will converge and share unique insights at a special industry forum in May, hosted by Drug Store News and Mack Elevation Forum. Sundial Brands co-founder Rich Dennis and Walgreens GVP/GMM for beauty and personal care Shannon Curtin will discuss their companies’ shared vision for connecting with today’s New General Market consumer. In addition, the one-day forum will focus on eight key pillars:

  • Identifying the New General Market — who are they, how do they think and what are their unmet needs?
  • More than just diversity of color or race, the New General Market is about diverse views.
  • How millennials are influencing and inspiring the New General Market.
  • Rethinking the in-store experience, product groupings and activation.
  • The future of creating authentic brand communities with the New General Market.
  • Building cultural competency and influence in a changing world.
  • Creating a holistic brand investment strategy with the New General Market.
  • Measuring success with the New General Market.

Participants in the May event will help define the best practices of winning brands that are connecting with millennials and today’s diverse consumer. Collective insights from the forum will be summarized in a series of special Drug Store News reports. For more information on how to participate, contact Wayne Bennett at wbennett@drugstorenews.com or Dan Mack at mackdan@comcast.net.

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Schnuck Markets to open St. Louis DC in summer of 2016

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS – Schnuck Markets on Thursday announced that this summer it will begin construction of a new estimated $100 million, state-of-the-art distribution center in north St. Louis County. The complex represents more room and a more efficient layout than the company’s current distribution center in Bridgeton, Mo.
 
“As we continue to grow, our goal is to offer customers an even larger selection and variety of quality foods, and the new NorthPark facility allows us to do just that. This expansion nearly doubles our distribution and warehousing capabilities,” said Todd Schnuck, chairman and CEO of Schnucks. “Not only is this project a big investment in the north St. Louis County community, it’s a major investment in the future of our company and demonstrates our commitment to our customers and to the St. Louis area.”
 
The 915,000-square foot distribution center will be one of St. Louis County’s largest commercial developments in recent years. Schnucks expects the facility to be completed in summer 2016.
 
Schnucks’ NorthPark facility joins the company’s current 570,000-square-foot grocery warehouse in Bridgeton, which was built in 1971 and has undergone several expansions to accommodate the company’s growth.
 
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. operates 98 stores and 93 in-store pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. 
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Fred’s Super Dollar’s April sales up a rosy 9%

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Fred's Super Dollar on Wednesday reported sales of $163.3 million, up 9%, for the four-week month of April ended May 2. Excluding last year's April sales from closed locations, total sales increased 14% for the month. Despite the effects of the recent West Coast shipping strike, abnormally cold weather in the company's region and the impact of an earlier Easter, comparable store sales for the month increased 0.7% compared with a decrease of 2.3% in April of last year, Fred's reported.
 
To account for the timing difference of an earlier Easter this year, which pushed holiday-related sales into March this year versus April last year, combined March and April total sales increased 5% to $356.8 million. Excluding sales from the stores closed in 2014, total sales increased 9% over the same two-month period in 2014.
 
Fred's total sales for the first three months of fiscal 2015 increased 2% to $510.1 million. Excluding sales of $21.8 million from closed stores in 2014, total sales increased 7% for the first quarter of 2015. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 0.8% versus a 1.9% decrease for the year-earlier period.
 
"We are pleased that comparable sales for the first quarter were in line with our guidance and we welcome the boost provided by our recent EntrustRx acquisition in terms of specialty pharmacy sales," stated Jerry Shore, Fred's CEO. "As specialty pharmacy sales expand as a percentage of total sales, we reiterate that they typically carry lower margins compared with retail pharmacy sales. The pharmacy department has continued to experience positive comparable store sales and total script growth, while general merchandise sales did not follow the positive trend of sales to plan experienced in February and March," he said. "We anticipate that general merchandise departments will improve throughout the year as new merchandising and marketing strategies are implemented, and on a positive note, our average basket continues to increase."
 
During April, Fred's opened two Xpress pharmacy locations and two specialty pharmacy locations.
 
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