Retail News Breaks Archives
Discount Drug Mart leverages hometown edge
April 24th, 2014
MEDINA, Ohio – With its local ownership and operation, Discount Drug Mart stands out from competitors in its Ohio market area, according to chief financial officer Tom McConnell.
“This allows us to appeal to the people who are living and working in the areas of our stores,” McConnell said. The Ohio drug chain operates 71 drug stores overall.
“We like to advertise ourselves as the ‘Hometown Pharmacy.’ With our upper management living in the communities in which our stores are located, it allows for us to make adjustments to each location to appeal to the people in that particular area.”
While the tough economy is affecting everyone, Discount Drug Mart has seen a rise in customers looking for low prices. “Those customers are finding out that we are a discount store and that not only do we have low prices but we have some things that they wouldn’t typically find in their other pharmacy stores,” McConnell said.
The chain has found front-end success with food, home health care and videos, and it is always looking to bring in new products. It has seen dramatic increases in the seasonal and clothing categories.
“We are finding that people who are shopping for everyday items such as food and toiletries also pick up some generic clothing items, especially with the price being so reasonable,” noted McConnell.
The chain’s Senior Savings Day has gotten off to a good start. A large number of customers are seniors, so implementing the program was “a no brainer,” he commented.
The Courtesy Plus Card loyalty program — which offers Pro Points rewards — is thriving. “Customers are getting the hang of how the program works, and last year was the highest redemption in Pro Points to date,” McConnell said. Signs point to continued enthusiasm in 2014, he added.
Also flourishing is the Premier Beauty Club. Women who may be indifferent to Pro Points get excited about the club’s savings on products for themselves.
Likewise, A Woman’s Place at Discount Drug Mart is helping cancer patients find wigs, mastectomy bras and lymphedema sleeves, among other products.
In the pharmacy, the retailer has continued to emphasize its immunization program, offering flu shots as well as vaccinations for shingles, pneumonia and other diseases.
On the technology front, the chain has begun transitioning to a Pioneer Rx pharmacy management system. It is scheduled to be in place in the second quarter of 2014.
The company’s $1.99 generic prescription program is booming, driven by customers looking to save money and the growing number of generics.
In-store clinic business slowed last year with a switch in providers. “But things are going great with the new providers,” McConnell said, adding that the clinics are allowing customers to come in “for a quick fix” in lieu of a doctor’s visit.