ECRM_1170x120_8-1-17

David Pinto

New era in mass retailing about to dawn

New era in mass retailing about to dawn

In the aftermath of the failed Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) acquisition of Rite Aid Corp., very little has happened. Rather, it’s like the event itself, or the nonevent, was an ending, a development so sudden and final that nothing else could happen. WBA continues to gather momentum, adding sales and stores in the U.S.

Total Store Expo has potential to hit even greater heights

Total Store Expo has potential to hit even greater heights

The Total Store Expo, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ annual front-end and pharmacy event, is once again upon us. Now in its fifth iteration, it has already been successful in replacing the Marketplace Conference, an NACDS meeting that had outlived its original purpose and had no legitimate second act to call upon. But

Drug chains on periphery of retail action

Drug chains on periphery of retail action

The biggest stories to come out of chain drug retailing thus far in 2017 are non-stories. Indeed, it’s grocery and discount store retailers that are making all the news, while drug chains continue to anticipate the newest developments — or, more likely, wait for them to happen. In the supermarket business, Albertsons Cos. is making

Walmart, Target give cause for optimism

Walmart, Target give cause for optimism

In late May, both Walmart and Target Corp. issued their quarterly performance numbers. Each revealed some surprises, and both left those retailing authorities who still retain some faith in the business a bit more optimistic than they had been. Here’s a look at the numbers: First, Walmart. Most surprising here was the revelation that the

For Gourlay, it’s all about the customer

For Gourlay, it’s all about the customer

Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, was named chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores at the 2017 NACDS Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., last month, succeeding Martin Otto, who is H-E-B’s chief financial officer and chief merchant, in that post. In his initial remarks as NACDS chairman, Gourlay emphasized

Drug chains respond to assault on model

Drug chains respond to assault on model

New formats are popping up throughout the chain drug industry, as retailers seek to overcome the sales malaise that has ensnared the industry this year. To recapture lost momentum, chain drug retailers are testing new store sizes, new merchandise assortments, new product locations within stores and new store concepts, sometimes all at once. It’s far

Chain drug retailing is at a turning point

Chain drug retailing is at a turning point

April is here — and still no resolution on the pending acquisition of Rite Aid Corp. by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. As time stretches out, this indecision bodes ill for an acquisition that was until recently viewed as an agreement with benefits for both parties. Now, confusion is apparently overtaking certainty — and there is

Drug chains need to regain control of shelf space

Drug chains need to regain control of shelf space

Once upon a time, the basic drug store merchandise mix was a simple affair, a half-dozen major brands in each product category, a handful of popular sizes, a small assortment of line extensions. No longer. Today’s drug store shelves are crammed with both major and supplementary brands. Indeed, sometimes off-brands dominate. Line extensions sometimes dominate.

Fate of WBA-Rite Aid deal hangs in balance

Fate of WBA-Rite Aid deal hangs in balance

The major question in mass retailing this year, as the industry concludes the second month of 2017, is when — and indeed whether — Walgreens Boots Alliance’s acquisition of Rite Aid will be fruitfully concluded. As anyone who really cares knows by now the deadline for finalizing the Walgreens-Rite Aid merger has been extended to

The leaders are there; who will stand out in chain drug?

The leaders are there; who will stand out in chain drug?

Going into the new year, several key personnel questions await answers, foremost among them the age-old problem of determining who, in 2017, will emerge as the most influential senior staffers at America’s drug chains. The determination is made more difficult by the fact that, as of this writing, Walgreens’ acquisition of Rite Aid remains unresolved.

New year to answer key questions in chain drug retailing

New year to answer key questions in chain drug retailing

The new year is finally here. On balance, 2016 was a year best forgotten. Very few events of a positive nature will be remembered. On the other hand, many unsettling moments would best be reviewed at another time — if at all. As 2017 dawns, several important questions remain to be resolved, a few of

Chain drug industry looks ahead at uncertain future

Chain drug industry looks ahead at uncertain future

For chain drug industry people, 2016 will be remembered as a year best forgotten — as much for the uncertainty of the future as for the problems of the past. As November ended and December began, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores brought industry leaders together in New York City for NACDS Week in

Old retailing order gives way to new future

Old retailing order gives way to new future

As the year nears its end, surprises continue to make news in chain drug retailing. Mostly, negative surprises. Earlier this month, CVS downsized its headquarters staff by some 600 employees, stopping for a moment the retailer’s uninterrupted string of good news. Following that announcement, the Woonsocket, R.I.-based drug chain issued a warning that results might

Drug chains’ beauty business in doldrums

Drug chains’ beauty business in doldrums

In chain drug retailing, the most disappointing product category in 2016 has been beauty care. Indeed, the problem with the beauty care category in chain drug stores is, quite simply, the chain drug store’s inability to generate any significant interest in the category. It performs far more credibly in other mass retailing outlets, and it

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