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Front end re-energized at CVS

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slide-01-CVSNewFrontEndNEW YORK — CVS Health has unveiled an enhanced front end with a focus on health, beauty and ­consumables.

The upgrade, being rolled out at selected stores starting with 150 high-volume urban outlets, is “the next step in the company’s evolution to better support customers’ health in its retail stores” following its cigarette ban, CVS Health said.

The strategy was outlined during a Manhattan store tour led by top executives, including Helena Foulkes, president of CVS/pharmacy; Judy Sansone, senior vice president of front-store business; Cia Tucci, vice president of store brands; and Alex Perez-Tenessa, vice president of beauty and personal care. They said the initiative reflects learnings from the ExtraCare loyalty program and the chain’s personalization efforts.

New offerings include more healthy food items, a broadened selection of over-the-counter products, and an elevated beauty experience with more premium products and displays giving the department a specialty look and feel. The initiative also includes new store designs.

Plans call for more than 500 stores to add hundreds of new, fresh and refrigerated organic/natural food items, including such brands as Kashi, Cascadian Farms, Amy’s Kitchen and Annie’s Homegrown. Chainwide, more than 30 new options have been added to CVS’ Gold Emblem Abound private label line, which offers a variety of nutritional benefits and has no artificial preservatives or flavors and no trans fat.

With consumers increasingly tending to snack, they are seeking out healthier between-meal options at convenient locations, Foulkes said.

Some stores also feature a new layout at the front to provide quicker access to healthier food. The retailer, too, has expanded the Fit Choices shelf tagging system, which highlights such benefits as heart healthy, gluten free, sugar free and organic. New tags include “good source of protein” and “non-GMO verified.”

In the O-T-C area, a larger selection of condition-specific items is slated to be introduced, including a new women’s wellness product assortment in more than 2,200 stores. Improved guidance will help customers with chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Enhancements and new offerings in the beauty department aim to create a more upscale, contemporary shopping experience. The changes include an expanded mix in categories linked to health expertise through a sharper focus on organic and clinical beauty products addressing specific needs and conditions.

Also, the retailer is boosting its offerings in the naturals skin segment and providing more healthy skin solutions. New and exclusive beauty brand launches are slated for later this summer.

When it comes to design, beauty sections will feature sleek, easy-to-browse displays and end-caps showcasing hot trends, best-sellers and beauty care innovations.

Another linchpin of the new strategy, executives said, is tailoring stores and formats to the communities they serve, as well as prioritizing individual shopper preferences and behaviors, in contrast to a one-size-fits-all approach. An example of the customization was seen in June in South Florida, when the company opened a dozen CVS/pharmacy y mas stores catering to Hispanic shoppers.

The rollout of the new front end will continue through the second half of this year, which will also bring more enhancements and innovations in health and beauty.


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