OPERATIONS

Study: Department stores have best growth opportunity in Canada

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – The Canadian market offers an opportunity for U.S. retailers to expand and to gain experience operating in an international market. According to a new study from market research firm IbisWorld, the U.S. retail segment best suited for expansion into Canada is department stores, followed by men’s clothing stores.

In order, the remainder of the top five U.S. retail categories primed for expansion into Canada are shoe stores, auto parts stores, and lingerie, swim and bridal stores. According to IbisWorld analysis, U.S. industries best suited to expand into Canada are characterized by slow growth and a high level of market share concentration, with few dominant major players generating the majority of industry revenue. In contrast, Canadian industries primed for entry tend to be fragmented and exhibit low levels of market share concentration; these industries are especially appealing if they consistently post revenue growth.

IbisWorld also advises that the Canadian retail sector has exhibited rapid growth in the past five years. Consumers have remained financially confident, with plenty of cash on hand for discretionary purchases. Most are familiar with U.S. stores and frequently cross the border to shop for a broader selection of brands. Furthermore, the Canadian retail sector is a less-crowded field with fewer dominant players.

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Walgreens outlines new operational leadership structure

BY Michael Johnsen

Deerfield, Ill. — Following Walgreens’ announcement last week about taking the next step in acquiring Alliance Boots, Alex Gourlay, executive VP Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens, announced a proposed operational organization structure in a letter to Walgreens employees.

Mark Wagner, currently president of community management and store operations, will take on a new role as president of business operations. In this new role, Wagner will be responsible for creating a customer-focused organization that supports Walgreens’ stores, eliminates waste and simplifies the work flow.

Brad Fluegel, currently senior VP and chief strategy officer, will become senior VP chief strategy and business development officer. He will continue to lead strategy for Walgreens and expand his responsibilities to include developing and implementing Walgreens’ healthcare clinic, clinical office and healthcare innovation strategies.

And Richard Ashworth will be returning from Alliance Boots in a new role as president of retail and pharmacy operations. He will assume responsibility for the field organization to implement a single customer plan and deliver customer care through Walgreens’ community locations.

Sona Chawla, president and digital and chief marketing officer, will continue in that role.

"I will continue to lead our merchandising team while we search for a new leader for the daily living organization," Gourlay wrote. "All of these proposed new roles and titles are subject to approval by the board of directors and will be effective as of Sept. 1," he said.

"I look forward to bringing together this talented team and continuing to work with Greg [Wasson] and the rest of our business partners across Walgreens," Gourlay added. "Looking to the future, we need to stay focused on our customers and patients because that’s what has made Walgreens the great business and brand that it is today. To continue to move forward, we will need to call on the company’s historic strengths — pharmacy-led, customer-driven, with a commitment to each other and a focus on care and service."

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Staples launches technology recycling service

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, has launched a Technology Recycling Service. The program, offered in partnership with Electronic Recyclers International Inc. (ERI) allows businesses of all sizes to recycle large volumes of electronics in a secure manner.

Staples Advantage’s new program allows businesses to recycle equipment – from cell phones and keyboards to telecom equipment and multi-function devices – via three steps:

1. Order recycling boxes online.

2. Fill boxes with electronics and ship back to Staples using a provided return label.

3. Receive a Certificate of Recycling from Staples that their electronics have been properly recycled and data safely removed. The certificate is accredited by the e-Stewards Initiative, a project of the Basel Action Network, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the responsible recycling of e-waste.

Staples Advantage will also integrate this offering into its future Managed Print Services contracts. The cost for this service will range from $15 – $500 depending on the size of the box ordered. Customized solutions are also available.

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