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Women forfeit glamour for beauty on a budget

BY Antoinette Alexander

Move over, “lipstick factor.” There’s a new beauty shopper in town, and she’s all about “austerity chic”—looking good for less.

“It is a common perception that lipstick sales go up in times of economic adversity, yet this research reveals a very different picture. Hair care and skin care actually are the beauty categories where women are spending the same or more,” stated Nica Lewis, head consultant for Mintel Beauty Innovation, referring to recently released consumer research conducted in the United Kingdom, France and the United States.

According to the research, just 3% of women in each country said that they bought a lipstick to make themselves feel better. In fact, lip color landed at the top of the list of cosmetic products that women would be most likely to spend less on or stop using.

Underscoring the findings, Euromonitor International reported in its May 2009 U.S. Color Cosmetics report that value sales of lipstick declined by 5% in 2008, despite fashion trends emphasizing that lipstick is back.

In light of the recession, women are getting more creative with their spending when it comes to beauty, and are investing their money in moisturizers, body lotions and hair care. This budget-conscious mindset also has opened the gateway for greater sales of those products that are multifunctional or offer greater convenience, according to a separate Mintel report. For the first quarter 2009, Mintel found that 27% of skin care products launched boasted “convenience” claims.

Women also are adapting their beauty treatments in an effort to stretch their dollars. For example, Americans are most likely to scale back on beauty treatments by extending the time between treatments or opting for cheaper, at-home solutions for such things as facials, manicures/pedicures, waxing and hair coloring. Americans also were more likely to buy value-sized or multi-action products, reported Mintel.

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Kroger declares quarterly dividend

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI The Kroger Co. announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 9 cents per share to be paid on Sept. 1 to shareholders of record at of the close of business on Aug. 14.

Kroger, one of the nation’s largest retail grocery chains, employs more than 326,000 associates, who serve customers in 2,475 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states.

On Thursday, the company announced that its president and COO Don McGeorge was retiring. McGeorge has been replaced by W. Rodney McMullen.

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Walgreens to test diabetes care model

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Walgreens continues to flesh out its revamped strategy to be the nation’s most convenient and accessible provider of pharmacy and health-and-wellness services.

 

The latest plank in that platform is its plan to test a pharmacy-driven outreach and support program for patients with diabetes.

 

Diabetic-care services and product presentations are nothing new in the nation’s chain and independent drug stores; every pharmacy leader knows that diabetes is a major, (often undiagnosed) health challenge and a “gateway” disease that usually subjects its sufferers to a slew of other related conditions involving the circulatory system, the skin and other organs. It’s also no secret that diabetics generate far more in annual drug store sales to treat these related conditions.

 

What makes Walgreens’ pilot program worthy of notice are two things.

 

 

First, with some 6,800 retail pharmacies, 350 in-store and worksite clinics and a network of specialty pharmacies across the United States, the company wields enormous potential power in the healthcare marketplace. If it expands its fledgling diabetes pilot beyond the test stage, it has thousands of “points of care” through which it could offer diabetes support programs and other disease management offerings. It’s a huge potential resource to offer diabetic patients and their employer-based or government-sponsored health plans, not to mention those patients’ overburdened, time-constrained primary care doctors.

 

 

Second, Walgreens is very deliberately positioning its diabetes care offering as a part of a much broader, integrated healthcare platform that links patients in the program to all the company’s health-and-wellness capabilities, said Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson. And it dovetails neatly with the Obama administration’s call for “more preventive care and better access,” in the words of Walgreens’ top manager.

 

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