CVS/pharmacy premieres new front-end strategy

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Executives outline enhanced focus on health, beauty, consumables

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health is rolling out enhanced front-end presentations and offerings — focused on health, beauty and consumables — at select CVS/pharmacy stores, starting with 150 high-volume urban locations across the country.

CVS outlined the strategy Wednesday in a Manhattan store tour and a media advisory with top retail 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.

New offerings include more healthy food choices in many locations, an expanded over-the-counter products experience, and an elevated beauty department featuring upgraded products and displays. Along with changes to product assortments, the initiative includes new store designs and a specialty look and feel for the beauty department.

Executives noted that the strategy — reflecting learnings from its ExtraCare loyalty program and focus on personalization — is designed to sharpen the health care focus in its retail stores following the removal of tobacco products from all CVS/pharmacy locations in September 2014.

Plans call for more than 500 stores to add hundreds of new, fresh, refrigerated and healthier 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 brand line, which offers a variety of nutritional benefits and has no artificial preservatives and flavors and no trans fat.

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

In the OTC area, a larger selection of condition-specific offerings is slated to be rolled out, including a new women’s wellness product assortment in more than 2,200 stores. Those locations will offer improved guidance to assist customers with chronic conditions, such as arthritis.

Enhancements and new offerings in the beauty department aim to create a more upscale, contemporary shopping experience, according to CVS. That includes an expanded product assortment in categories linked to health expertise via 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 serving up more healthy skin solutions. New and exclusive beauty brand launches also are slated for this summer.

On the design side, the beauty sections will feature sleek, easy-to-browse displays and end-caps showcasing hot trends, bestsellers and new beauty care innovations, CVS said.

Another linchpin of the new retail approach, CVS executives said, is customizing store locations and formats to the communities they serve, as well as prioritizing individual shopper preferences and behaviors. An example of this approach was launched earlier this month in South Florida, where the company opened 12 CVS/pharmacy y más stores, which cater to Hispanic customers.

CVS said the rollout of the new front-end strategy to stores will continue through the second half of this year, which will also feature more enhancements and innovations in health and beauty.



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