New stores are on the way from Discount Drug Mart as the regional drug chain comes off a very good fiscal year.

Discount Drug Mart, regional drug chain, Ohio drug chain, Tom McConnell, health care, pharmacy, front end, Amanda Stefanski, Courtesy Plus Card, Pro Points rewards, DDM Cash, loyalty program, Premier Beauty Club

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Discount Drug Mart plans new stores

April 17th, 2013

MEDINA, Ohio – New stores are on the way from Discount Drug Mart as the regional drug chain comes off a very good fiscal year.

The retailer premiered its 71st unit in March 2012 and plans to add two more this fiscal year. Two other outlets were expanded and remodeled, and next month will see the relocation of a Lakewood, Ohio, store into a newly constructed building.

In addition, the company has extended its record of never having closed a store to 45 years.

For the 12 months ended March 31, Discount Drug Mart's sales rose 1.6% to $566 million. Front-end dollar volume climbed more than 4.5%, and same-store sales advanced 1.5%.

In the merchandising arena, the Ohio drug chain is continuing to expand its grocery offerings and has added delis in some stores.

Home health care is another area of focus. “Sales are up over 5.5%, and we plan to grow this and be active in the Medicare competitive bidding process in the relevant markets,” said senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer Tom McConnell.

Video rentals have stayed consistent, year over year, he added, noting that the chain uses the department as a marketing tool and traffic generator.

Discount Drug Mart’s strategy for competing with the big-box stores remains being price-competitive, convenient and a one-stop-shopping outlet. The retailer also strives to be a destination for health care and continues to add in-store clinics, with plans to open one to three clinics this year.

Consumers have responded overwhelmingly favorably to the chain’s Courtesy Plus Card loyalty program and Pro Points rewards. Millions of points were issued to customers every month last year. Customers could redeem points for Cleveland Cavaliers T-shirts, Lake Erie Monsters game-worn hockey jerseys, tickets and locker room tours.

Branching out from sports, newer rewards include DDM Cash and free in-store movie rentals. DDM Cash allows customers to redeem Pro Points for credits in $5 increments, which are loaded onto their Courtesy Plus Card for the next time they shop. This precludes the need to keep track of another gift card.

The popular free movie rentals are also loaded onto the customer’s card. No additional card is required. Both DDM Cash and movie rentals help to encourage customers who are not sports fans to become a part of the Pro Points program.

“We anticipate these additions will bring even more customers and Pro Points being redeemed, allowing the program to continue to grow exponentially,” said marketing coordinator Amanda Stefanski.

To add to the value of the Courtesy Plus Card, Discount Drug Mart developed the Premier Beauty Club. Launched at the end of last year, it has been growing weekly.

Complementing the chain’s high-quality health and beauty department, the club focuses on a selected brand each month. When a club member spends $25 on the designated line, she gets $5 back instantly at checkout. Brands have included L’Oréal, RoC from Johnson & Johnson and Beiersdorf’s Aquaphor.

The program continues to grow as customers become increasingly aware of it, according to Stefanski. “Those that have taken advantage of it have had large savings and multiple ­redemptions,” she said.

Meanwhile, Discount Drug Mart’s northern Ohio locations have continued their four-year run of being the exclusive full-service retail ticket outlet for the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Customers can visit 58 of the chain’s stores to purchase tickets to such events as Cavaliers, Monsters and Cleveland Gladiators arena football games; concerts; and family shows, including the circus and Disney on Ice.

The accessibility of the chain’s Veritix machines reinforces its motto, “We Have Everything You Need,” added Stefanski.