Banking on Beantown
By Molly Zimnoch
NACDS takes a broader approach to its 2014 Total Store Expo by moving it back to Boston. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is shipping up to Boston for its 2014 Total Store Expo. From August 23-26, the epicenter of New England will play host to thousands of front-end, pharmacy, supply chain and technology industry executives. The show has moved from Las Vegas to New England in order to help attendees explore new demographics and cultures, say NACDS officials. “Total Store Expo exemplifies the fact that retail is a nationwide operation. You need to explore everything the country has to offer. It’s important for us to reflect that,” says Jim Whitman, NACDS senior vice president of member program and services. “Boston represents a microcosm of the industry, with its spectrum of drug, food and mass retailers and demographics ranging from urban to suburban to rural.” One of the biggest benefits of Total Store Expo is that it allows attendees and exhibitors to take part in high-level joint meetings. NACDS has also created an extensive library of tools and resources on its website for attendees to familiarize themselves with in advance of the show in order to maximize their time in Boston. “At the end of the day, it will be all about the agenda people establish for themselves, their companies and their peers on what they hope to accomplish at NACDS Total Store Expo, from the moment they arrive until the moment they depart,” says Whitman. One of the biggest highlights of the 2014 Total Store Expo should be keynote speaker Dr. Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve. “When you think about who’s best to forecast the nation’s economic and business climate, Dr. Bernanke is hands-down the leading authority,” says NACDS president and CEO, Steven C. Anderson. Whitman adds that: “Dr. Bernanke can speak to the macroeconomic aspects of what’s happening in the country and how it can be affected from around the world. At the microeconomic level, he’ll take a look at consumer spending, the growth of incomes and cost of living that all impact shopper behavior and characteristics.” Of course there is also the Expo floor, filled with exhibitors from across the country. Here is a preview of who and what attendees can expect to see: Meda Consumer Healthcare Booth #150, www.medaconsumer.com Meda Consumer Healthcare is the U.S.-based over-the-counter division of Stockholm-based Meda AB, a global specialty pharmaceutical company. As a key part of Meda’s business strategy, the consumer healthcare division extends Meda’s reach into the OTC and dietary supplements market. Based in Marietta, Ga., the division’s consumer healthcare brands include Balneol, Contac, Feosol, Geritol, MidNite and Vivarin. “Our strategy is to rehabilitate iconic brands, which is a long term proposition,” says Tony Sommer, senior director and head of sales, shopper marketing and customer service. “What may be ‘new’ for Vivarin or MidNite, like TV or digital, may be standard in other places.” In order to do so, the company has a continued focus on its marketing initiatives which include updated packaging to TV and digital programs, all of which drive business with Meda’s trading partners. “NACDS TSE is the one gathering where all three parts of Meda Pharmaceuticals can be together—our Wallace Pharmaceuticals team (generics), Meda Pharma (branded) and Meda Consumer Healthcare (OTC & supplements). It’s a great venue to meet new people, get new perspectives and interact on the trends facing the entire industry,” Sommer adds. Majestic Drug Booth #666 www.majesticdrug.com Since its incorporation in 1950, Majestic Drug has been fulfilling retailers’ needs for innovative and effective specialty oral care items. With a broad range of products to solve consumers every oral care need, Majestic is now bringing its offerings together under one unique banner. “Aside from highlighting our many high-quality and innovative products, we are very excited to introduce the brand new look for our entire oral care line under the ‘Dentist on Call’ banner. This is an initiative that will unify all of the same reliable oral care products that our customers have come to trust with a great new look,” says David Fishman, executive vice president for the South Fallsburg, N.Y.-based company. Majestic Drug’s extensive line of dental health, denture care and repair items includes Reline-It, a premium denture reliner, Proxi-Plus, a combination interdental brush and flosser and Dentemp O.S., a one-step dental cement to temporarily repair loose caps and crowns and replace lost fillings. One of the company’s newest products, Senzzzzz Away, is a tooth desensitizer that offers relief from tooth sensitivity caused by cold, sweets and heat. Just one application relieves tooth sensitivity for up to six months, company officials say. “We were motivated to update our product line because we want to give our products a fresh, new look to better reflect today’s marketing demands. Plus, we realized that many of our customers, while loyal to one or two of our products, were not entirely aware of the extent of our offerings. We want to unify our products to demonstrate that all of our top-selling items are actually made by the same trusted company,” Fishman adds. Hallmark Cards Booth #956 www.hallmark.com This winter Hallmark Cards will be launching a seasonal franchise anchored by the feature-length film Northpole, debuting on the Hallmark Channel November 15. The Kansas City, Mo.-based company has such high hopes for this new initiative that they have already committed to a Northpole 2 feature film for the 2015 holiday season. In the movie, the Northpole has grown into a huge city powered by the magic of holiday happiness around the world. Yet as people everywhere get too busy to enjoy festive time together, the city is in trouble. Retailers can get into the holiday spirit with approximately 30 Northpole-inspired items available to them. Consumers can easily connect with Santa via the Northpole Communicator, the Find Me, Santa! Snowflake, Northpole Magic Mail, and the Polar Explorer Pack, Goggles and Adventure Map. “A number of our key retailers really placed a big bet on this working well for them, including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger. We’ve been very pleased with the initial take rate and hopefully the sell-through will be as promising as we think it’ll be,” says Scott Young, vice president, strategic relationships and business development. Wahl Clipper Corp. Booth #1375 www.wahl.com Wahl Clipper Corp will arrive in Boston with clippers blazing, company officials say. To maintain its cutting-edge show presence, Wahl’s Elite Pro Clipper, which will launch late this autumn, will be featured in the Total Store Expo’s new product showcase. Company officials are optimistic that the new clipper will demonstrate to retailers the company’s ability to expand the market and help consumer’s trade-up. “Wahl wanted to bring meaningful innovation to the hair clipper category,” says Steve Yde, director of marketing for the Sterling, Ill.-based company. “We went out and focused on those three areas consumers said they want improvements in order to step up in price point.” Featuring improved power, blades and guide combs, the Elite Pro is designed to convert consumers to a higher price point in the category while driving category growth with an approximate retail price of $50. Wahl’s booth will also illustrate the company’s ongoing commitment to the African American male with seven new products or product enhancements across the brand’s assortment of multi-cultural hair clippers, trimmers and shavers. “The idea is to better serve this underserved segment and Wahl’s new products will help retailers expand the category,” says Yde. Attendees can also experience Wahl’s expansive line of pet grooming products including its dog grooming wipes. Now available in an extra large size, the wipes are designed to keep pups fresh between baths. Company officials will also be discussing Wahl’s new line of handheld, battery massagers. IdeaVillage Products Corp. Booth #1670 www.ideavillage.com Total Store Expo is getting some serious star power thanks to IdeaVillage Product Corp.’s new partnerships with actress Fran Drescher and NFL superstar Brett Favre. The former star of The Nanny has teamed up with the Wayne, N.J.-based company to promote its line of Finishing Touch trimmers for women. IdeaVillage’s “Get Gorgeous” campaign will feature the Finishing Touch Yes, Finishing Touch Freedom and Finishing Touch Elite trimmers, which retail for $39.99, $19.99 and $9.99, respectively. Drescher will be featured on clip strips, PDQ billboard tray packs, floor displays and sidekicks with headers. Brett Favre, known for his scruff as much as his spiral, is lending a hand and a cheek to IdeaVillage’s line of Micro Touch razors for men. In addition to being featured on several point-of-purchase displays and material, Favre will endorse the Micro Touch One, Micro Touch MAX and Micro Touch Tough Blade in a series of television commercials. IdeaVillage will also feature Favre in promotions for its new Copper Fit compression sleeves. Designed to relieve muscle stiffness, soreness and pain, the sleeve is made with high-density activated copper woven into its yarn, giving consumers the benefit of copper’s natural anti-bacterial properties. “The reason we chose Brett is because he has a great history as a top NFL quarterback who has always battled through pain to deliver on the field,” says Ron Boger, president and COO. “He always came back to play and we think he provides the perfect image for our Copper Fit program which helps with joint pain and relief.” American Greetings Corp. Booth #1949, www.corporate.americangreetings.com American Greetings Corp. will be highlighting products from its Recycled Paper Greetings and Papyrus product lines. In addition to innovative new concepts from the the Gen Y-aimed justWink brand, a new line for tweens/teens and a non-occasion offering for the shopper who wants to connect “just because” will be featured. The new Brighten Someone’s Day collection, which is currently available, offers cards designed to spread happiness, celebrate close friendships and make people laugh with messages that are positive, genuine, relevant and offer plenty of variety. “Sending cards ‘just because’ offers consumers a way to fulfill the emotional need of forming deeper connections,” said Maureen Meidenbauer, executive director of product development at Cleveland-based American Greetings. “Whether you’re complimenting a coworker on being awesome, letting a friend know that they have your support or sharing a laugh with your special someone, these meaningful cards are inspired by today’s relationships. The Brighten Someone’s Day collection combines thoughtful and relevant messaging with bright and positive designs to help consumers be the smile in someone’s day.” While perusing American Greetings multitude of greeting card offerings, attendees can check out the company’s brand new Warm Fuzzies bags. Covered in soft, brightly-colored faux fur, these fuzzy gift bags are bringing the party to Boston. Diva International Booth #2470 www.divacup.com Diva International company representatives will be demonstrating the brand’s newly enhanced mobile-friendly website. Enhancements to the website’s Store Finder page include geo-targeting, which automatically locates the closest retailer stocking the Diva Cup and Wash. “More than half of consumers are accessing our website from their smartphones and tablets so we wanted to accommodate those devices as best we could,” says John Szustaczek, director of sales and marketing. “We’ve noticed that 86% of our website visitors exit through either our Store Finder or our Buy Online section. We wanted to improve that and feature more retail partners that are selling the Diva Cup and the Diva Wash so we can send customers their way.” The booth will also feature the debut of the brand’s new national television commercial, a first for the Kitchener, Ont., Canada-based company. “We’re trying to build demand and awareness of the product with this new commercial,” says Szustaczek. “It highlights the benefits and features of the products including how comfortable and easy it is to use, while offering 12 hours of leak-free protection. In a clinical research study over 90% of tampon users preferred the Diva Cup or preferred menstrual cups. It’s really highlighting the fact that it’s a preferred choice to other products that are out there.” Post-Expo, Diva International has a multitude of promotions ready to capitalize on new product demand, including flyer activity, on-shelf features, signage and couponing. “It’s just a matter of getting our heads together with our retail partners to understand their customers and what works best for them and then crafting a promotion that will be successful in building awareness and demand of the product and get customers to get it off the shelf and increase that off-take,” adds Szustaczek. Anything but general development The Global Market Development Center (GMDC) will host the 2014 GMDC General Merchandise Marketing Conference (GM14) in San Antonio, Texas from September 5-9 at the JW Marriott Hill Country. “The focus of this year’s GM Conference will be to educate attendees on the many enhancements that have been made over the course of the year to improve our members GMDC experience and grow their business through many new member services, tools and resources,” says Dave McConnell, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based organization. Enhancements include: The launch of the Nielsen/GM Hierarchy, a benchmarking tool that serves to provide the broadest and truest view of general merchandise and related consumer behavior to GMDC members. More education, insights and connectivity via GMDC*Connect, a telepresence service offered to GMDC members that delivers industry strategies and insights through both live and archived videocast sessions presented by leading experts in a variety of fields. GMDC*Connect gives retailers, suppliers and service companies the ability to connect virtually through face-to-face desktop meetings throughout the year. A new GMDC website experience now featuring a modern look and user-friendly aspects to include a responsive design that automatically reformats and prioritizes menus and messaging while browsing via any device. Todd Hale, senior vice president of consumer and shopper insights at Nielsen, will be presenting the GM State of the Industry—2014 business session. Hale will share an in-depth analysis on the opportunities across various GM categories, telling retailers what to watch out for, what is doing well, what is doing poorly and providing insider knowledge about top performers standing out from the rest. “The importance of driving store traffic through shopper solutions spanning the total store will be reviewed—Todd will explore why it is important to understand the total store behaviors and total store merchandising activities in order to grow and compete,” says Mark Mechelse, GMDC’s director of research, industry insights and communications. “Without a total store perspective and concentrating on a primary focus in grocery chains only around the perimeter, you can expect to see some of the most profitable areas of the store shrink—the center.” Grocery Headquarters has gotten a sneak peek into what Contigo and Design Design are planning for the 2014 conference. Hallmark Cards and American Greetings Corp. will also be in attendance to share the items and strategies that they are featuring at The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 2014 Total Store Expo. Contigo www.gocontigo.com “At Contigo, we’re passionate about engineering products that help make life easier,” says Todd Star, vice president of marketing and product development for Contigo, a brand of Chicago-based Ignite USA. “At the 2014 GMDC show we are showcasing a wide variety of durable and spill-proof new designs that let any consumer make, preserve and enjoy their favorite beverages on-the-go.” Targeting one of the beverage category’s fastest growing areas, Contigo is launching the Shake & Go Fit mixer bottle with a unique round-bottom design that allows consumers to smoothly mix protein drinks and shakes with ease. The brand’s design includes a weighted shaker ball that is designed to work with the bottle’s rounded-bottom to help reduce the clumps and build up common with protein shakes. Available in 20-ounce and 29-ounce designs, the Shake & Go Fit is top-rack dishwasher safe. “The instant success of individually-packaged flavor enhancers and mix-ins has left on-the-go consumers without the tools they need to really enjoy them,” says Starr. “Disposable water bottles add unnecessary cost and waste, but to date they have been the best option. Our Shake & Go Tumbler finally gives consumers a reusable solution for quickly and conveniently mixing one of these popular drinks without worrying about making a mess.” Contigo will also showcase its new SnapSeal lid system. Offering one-handed, leak-proof operation, the SnapSeal 16-ounce stainless steel travel mug is designed to fit consumers’ active lifestyle. To use, consumers simply push up the “SnapSeal” tab, opening a reservoir to access the mug’s contents. After drinking is complete, snap the “SnapSeal” tab down to seal the lid again. An audible click assures users that the lid is sealed again. Design Design www.designdesign.us Design Design is a single source provider for six core categories in personal expression: greeting cards, paper tableware, gift packaging, cocktailing, stationery gift and cake candles. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is determined to show retailers its ability to incrementally grow and elevate sales in the personal expression category. “Ultimately we strive to elevate the shopping experience and consumer engagement with our product in conjunction with retailer strategies,” says Colin Littler, marketing director. “We fully understand the importance of our world class in-store service and we have a dedicated service team that will install and maintain any program assortment our retail partners choose. Our comprehensive everyday line is regularly refreshed to keep customers buying with every return trip and we can easily flow seasonal product in and out to maximize incremental sales.” The company offers retailers detailed analysis of price point targets and category lift that will maximize basket size with every purchase, officials say. Such lifts can be realized when key products are cross merchandised within mainline departments such as bottle bags and cocktail napkins in liquor/beverage, cake candles in bakery and stationery and small gift items in floral departments, they add. “In doing this, retailers can leverage our brand awareness to promote and maximize the basket size with relevant complementary product to enrich their guests’ shopping experience,” Littler adds.