The other W

Ice melts at the edges first, so if you’re not looking at the periphery of the competitive landscape, you may quickly find your self on thin ice before you know it.

 

For this reason, retailers may be better off looking at Walgreens than Wal-Mart. The Deerfield, Ill.-based drug store giant’s decision to ramp up on convenience foods like salad, sandwiches and ready-to-bake pizza at its 7.000 locations, is a significant move that should be taken seriously.

 

While the company said it is going to be selective in taking on new food items, it has also hired grocery industry veteran Jim Jensen, formerly of Fresh & Easy and the fresh food division of 7-Eleven to spearhead the move. Company officials have also confirmed talks with Unilever, Sara Lee and Nestle for new branded and private label items.

 

Meanwhile, the company has already added beer and wine to some 1,700 stores and is aiming to these categories into virtually every unit. This, and food, is all part of a wide ranging overhaul designed to make Walgreens a “destination retailer. As such, the chain is reportedly in the process of redefining its entire business and is on the cusp of a new ad campaign that will bring it all together.

 

Selling perishables is a risky business. But so is dealing with cutbacks in Medicare reimbursements.

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