Walgreens testing new store format
Deerfield, Ill. Walgreen Co. said it will test a new store format it is calling customer-centric retailing.
According to a Wednesday report by the Chicago Tribune, the drug store retailer is expanding a test to make stores more open, colorful and easier to shop.
Larger signage and expanded beauty aisles are also among the planned changes, as well as added food and wine options and a bolstered electronics selection.
The new format is slated to roll out to 2,500 to 3,000 stores by this fall from 700 now, said Walgreens CEO and president Gregory Wasson. The company’s first test was concentrated in Houston and Dallas.
“As we’ve said before, this is an ongoing process with many checkpoints along the way to allow us the opportunity to tweak and refine as needed,” Wasson said in a conference call to investors. “As we move into the next phase, we’ll continue to build sales, take work out of stores, lower inventory and, most importantly, improve our customers’ overall shopping experience.”
Sales at the 31 pilot stores are up 2%, outperforming a control group of stores and suggesting that the makeover will spur revenue growth, Wasson said. Market share in Houston and Dallas remained unchanged to up slightly as the stores changed over, a result the company said was encouraging. Stores were converted for about $40,000 to $50,000 each.
While only 30%-40% of Walgreens stores will make the change to the new format this year, all of the 7,180 drug stores nationwide will dedicate more space to skin care and vitamins. And 5,000 stores are on track to carry beer and wine by the end of the year.
PepsiCo names new CFO
PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo announced that Hugh Johnston, a 23-year company veteran who currently serves as EVP PepsiCo global operations, will succeed Richard Goodman as CEO of the company.
Since joining PepsiCo in 1987, Johnston has held M&A, finance and strategy positions in PepsiCo’s corporate headquarters as well as finance and general management roles in its North American snack and beverage businesses. Johnston left PepsiCo from August 1999 through March 2002 to pursue a general management role as VP retail, at Merck Medco, leading the company’s retail pharmacy card business. He rejoined PepsiCo in 2002 as SVP mergers and acquisitions, and then became CFO for PepsiCo Beverages & Foods, where he was responsible for leading the finance function for Pepsi-Cola North America, Tropicana, Gatorade North America and Quaker Foods North America. He held this position until 2005, when he became SVP transformation, and in 2006 he assumed the role of EVP operations, responsible for the company’s global transformation, supply chain, procurement and information technology functions.
In 2007, he was named president of Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages, responsible for strategic direction and financial performance, with accountability for sales, franchise management, field marketing and operations. In that role he positioned the PCNAB product portfolio to compete more effectively in a very challenging external environment.
Dollar General kicks off month-long Autism awareness campaign
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. Dollar General announced that it has donated $50,000 to Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, to kick off a month-long fundraising campaign during Autism Awareness Month in April.
“We are excited to partner with Dollar General and very grateful for their support and commitment to our cause,” said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. “This partnership will raise critical funds for our research and advocacy efforts and also bring our awareness message to Dollar General’s millions of customers.”
Throughout April, Dollar General will offer customers the opportunity to make donations to Autism Speaks during check-out. In addition, the Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo will appear on Dollar General’s NASCAR Nationwide Series No. 32 car and Sarah Fisher’s No. 67 IZOD IndyCar Series car for the month of April to drive awareness for the campaign. Dollar General will make an additional $50,000 donation to Autism Speaks for every race won by either Dollar General car in April.
“We are proud to partner with Autism Speaks to support the fight against autism,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO of Dollar General. “Many of our customers are affected by this disorder, and we are happy to offer them the opportunity to help fund research for the cause.”