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Looking Into The Future: Retailing 2015

BY CSA STAFF

The retail industry will become more segmented and customer-driven by the year 2015, according to a report by Price-waterhouseCoopers and TNS Retail Forward. The report, “Retailing 2015: New Frontiers,” advises that the retail industry will need to adopt a more targeted approach in coming years to reach an increasingly diverse and tech-savvy population. It predicts that retailers, along with their customers, will be more demanding, more global, more diverse and will operate across more channels than ever before.

“Due to demographic dichotomies, a new consumer mind-set will emerge in 2015 that will have far-reaching implications for the retail industry,” said John Maxwell, retail and consumer industry leader for Pricewater-house Coopers. “Consumers will want to be more interconnected with the businesses they patronize, exercise more control over their purchases, customize their products to serve their individual needs and indulge in shopping as a life experience.”

The study predicts 15 trends that will redefine the business environment by 2015.

These include:

Downsizing: The current trend of sustainability will drive the down-sizing of products, packaging, waste and resource consumption as consumers look to smaller, more personalized products;

Triple Bottom Line Scorecard: Definitions of corporate success will change by 2015, with increased focus on the environmental and social performance of a company; and

Share of Life Retailing: Retailers will define themselves by the customers they serve, not the products they sell.

“Given the change factors and the predicted trends,” said Tom Rubel, president, TNS Retail Forward, “the next growth phase for retailers will be about segmentation and localization. The best way to define this trend is through the term ‘glocalization.’ Retailers will need to serve customers across major geographic, cultural, legislative and regulatory boundaries, all while catering to local tastes, traditions, lifestyles and economies.”

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CompUSA may get a new look

BY CSA STAFF

ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.

According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.

The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.

Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.

While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.

“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.

CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.

The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.

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Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.

Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.

Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:

“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.

“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”

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