NEW YORK — When it comes to boosting front-end productivity, Rite Aid has its eyes on private label.
Company president and chief operating officer Mary Sammons, speaking at a retail conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs Wednesday, said developing private brands "allows us to save customers money — 25 percent — but also allows us to improve gross profit by more than that 25 percent. That is important when you have to be competitive."
Private brands, she said, "also have a key role — they help us differentiate assortments in classifications. Our goal is to get that brand accepted as the preferred brand." And beauty is no exception. Last year, Rite Aid introduced three bath-and-body collections, each geared at a different age group. This spring, it added a salon-type hair care line and a spa brand.
Pharmacy accounts for 62 percent of Rite Aid’s revenue. However, expanding the front end is important, noted Sammons, "because it delivers a higher margin." The chain will continue to stress a core marketing message of value and service, said Sammons.
To tighten operations, the company is also emphasizing the use of technology at the front end, and is investing more heavily in category management and making better use of its data warehouse, said Sammons. The intent is to funnel the money saved into promotions designed to increase the market basket. "The value of selling one more item is extraordinary," said Sammons. To do that, Rite Aid is planning more cross-category merchandising programs and will continue to highlight certain products — like Rite Aid brands — in its circulars and within stores centered on a quality message.
Rite Aid also plans to better target ethnic consumers through the use of electronics and will continue to run community events like its Health & Beauty Expo, which began two years ago.
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)
@denimdaysfestival, which initially launched in Amsterdam in 2014 and has since expanded to New York, is heading to Nashville for the very first time. The two-day festival, which will take place in November, will feature brand activations, hands-on workshops by artisans and denim mills, a vintage market, live entertainment, and local food and drinks. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Later this month, the popular “Diana: Her Fashion Story” exhibit will be reopening. @historicroyalpalaces, the charity that manages @kensingtonroyal, has been working towards adding new, never-before-seen garments to the exhibit, including this dress created by Gianni Versace for a fund-raising dinner at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The exhibit will reopen on April 26 at Kensington Palace @wwdfashion
“Our family has always been engaged and interested in the world around us. [My brothers and I] were always encouraged to have our own opinion at a young age, which is not always something a child is asked — especially to have an opinion with reasoning behind it,” said @yarashahidi on becoming an activist. We caught up with the 18 year old last week, where she talked about her road to acting, how “Black-ish” led her to start conversations about identity and more. Head to WWD.com to read what she had to say #wwdeye (📷: @chelsealaurenla)