GMDC Weekly Insights
Apr. 2, 2012

Nielsen: Most global, socially conscious consumers consult social media when making purchasing decisions
Drug Store News
A new survey from Nielsen is hoping to shed light on the world's socially conscious consumers, who are those that are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that implement programs designed to give back to society.More

Social sharing helps consumers find products
Internet Retailer
Avid online shoppers are turning to Facebook to learn about products that they might buy, according to a new report from social commerce vendor Sociable Labs. The report, which examined the habits of consumers who log in to Facebook at least once a month and who buy online at least quarterly, found that 62 percent of those shoppers read product-related comments posted by their friends on the social network.More

5 easy ways to get started on 5 different social networks
Small Business Trends
Let's face it, there are a lot of social networks out there and more are popping up every day. For a small business owner, that can get a little intimidating. If only there was an easy way to start getting involved in each. One little thing or activity that could help spur a future of more engaged results and interaction.More

Facebook targeting may IPO
The Wall Street Journal
Facebook Inc. is preparing its initial public offering for May, according to people familiar with the matter, in what is shaping up to be the largest-ever U.S. Internet offering.More

How to make your tweets more trustworthy
Ever feel like you tweet something important, but no one believes you? A recent study shows you how to boost the credibility of your tweets, making people take them more seriously. And it's not just marketing fluff; the study was conducted by researchers from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University.More

Rite Aid launches smartphone app
Retailing Today
Rite Aid has become the latest chain to join the retail smartphone application game. The Camp Hill, Pa.-based retail pharmacy chain recently launched an app for smartphones that allows users to refill prescriptions by scanning their barcodes or entering the prescription number, transfer prescriptions, manage their Wellness+ loyalty card accounts, view weekly circulars and compile shopping lists, among other features.More

Tablets enhance shopping experience, customer perception
Business News Daily
Are cash registers headed for extinction? According to new research, 57 percent of shoppers say they think retailers who use tablets and other mobile devices instead of cash registers are more innovative and appealing than competition that does not. Surprisingly, that number comes with just 22 percent of people saying they have shopped in a store with a mobile payment system and with just 43 percent saying they are familiar with the term mobile wallet.More

Stores buy in to mobile shopping
San Francisco Chronicle
Here's a prediction for the chic and digitally savvy: Your shopping adventures will soon involve less paper, more tapping and an advanced level of dexterity.More

Square pushes into consumer mobile payments with revamped app
Mobile Commerce Daily
Square, which is known for its mobile payments solution for merchants, is making a bigger push into the consumer side of the transaction with a major revamp of its application that lets shoppers complete transactions via their smartphones.More

Clinique UK bets on augmented reality to drive sales
Mobile Commerce Daily
Personal care brand Clinique UK recently placed mobile calls to action to bring its static print ads to life and encouraged users to either shop via their handsets or visit the nearest store. The print ads ran for the month of March in Britain and encouraged users to use their mobile devices to interact with content. Clinique UK worked with augmented reality application Blippar on this project.More

Recycled Paper Greetings introduces WORD UP! collection
Recycled Paper via GMDC
Consumers expect to find the most entertaining and original cards for every occasion when they visit the Recycled Paper Greetings card aisle, and the recently introduced WORD UP! collection will definitely add to that reputation. The new line consists of 12 birthday cards from popular content partners including designs from Bold Face Type, Dented Can Greetings, Hard Cards and Printware Studio.More

Dropps® introduces its softer side with fabric softener Pacs
PR Newswire
Dropps® — the innovative brand that has been making laundry "laundr-easy" since 2006 with Dropps Laundry Detergent Pacs — is pleased to announce the launch of its newest product, Dropps Fabric Softener Pacs.More

Hy-Vee sells Curtis Stone Cookware
Supermarket News
Hy-Vee not only features celebrity chef Curtis Stone's recipes, it also sells his cookware. The retailer is carrying an assortment of Curtis Stone-brand pots, pans, spoon rests and ramekins. What's more, select varieties are on sale this week at 50 percent off, according to the Hy-Vee Facebook page.More

More nonfoods labeled 'gluten-free'
Supermarket News
Gluten-free designations are cropping up on nonfood items such as vitamins and creams, lotions and other products absorbed by the skin. "We've seen a 43 percent increase in body care products being labeled as gluten-free and certified as gluten-free," explained Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America during "The Gluten Free Movement Within Specialty Foods" webinar hosted recently by The National Association of Specialty Food Trade.More

Walgreens, National Urban League partner
on Way to Well Health Tour

Drug Store News
Walgreens and the National Urban League recently launched the Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour with National Urban League as a charitable component of the Walgreens Way to Well Commitment. The national tour provides free health resources to residents in urban and minority communities who experience disproportionately higher rates of preventable diseases, the companies stated. The service is free and insurance will not be billed.More

Jessica Alba's startup raises $27 million in funding
A little honesty goes a long way. For Jessica Alba, Golden Globe-nominated actress and founder of baby products e-retailer The Honest Company, that statement rings truer than ever. The site just secured over $27 million in funding to grow the baby products space online.More

Walgreens and Duane Reade throw down challenge to Stop Diabetes® and support the American Diabetes Association Greater New York City area
Business Wire via Yahoo News
On Tuesday, March 27 at 9 a.m. at the Walgreens' Times Square location at 1471 Broadway, 250 Walgreens stores in New York will announce a challenge to 250 Duane Reade stores in the New York metro area to a fundraising contest that will support the activities of the American Diabetes Association Greater New York City area. The challenge will be to see who can raise the most money through pin-up sales over a four-week period in the fall. Duane Reade will conduct the campaign in October and Walgreens will conduct the campaign in November.More

Retail: Grocers abandon big is beautiful as Tesco leads
Bloomberg Businessweek
Britons once bemoaned out-of-town superstores for sucking the life out of local shopping streets. Now a push by Tesco Plc and rivals to open smaller convenience branches in town centers is stirring a new round of angst.More

The anti-Walmart: The secret sauce of Wegmans is people
The Atlantic
Cashiers are barred from interacting with customers until they have completed 40 hours of training. Hundreds of staffers are sent on trips around the U.S. and world to become experts in their products. The company has no mandatory retirement age and has never laid off workers. All profits are reinvested in the company or shared with employees.More

Spartan Stores named 1 of Fortune's Most Admired Companies
Progressive Grocer
Spartan Stores Inc. has been named by Fortune magazine as one of the World's Most Admired Companies in the wholesale grocery industry for 2012. Spartan was the only grocery company in Michigan and one of eight companies in the state to receive this recognition.More

United Supermarkets to open 3rd Market Street in Lubbock, Texas
Progressive Grocer
Due to overwhelming customer demand, United Supermarkets plans to open Lubbock's third Market Street location, a next-generation store that will be ready to shop by Thanksgiving. "This store will be a next-generation store for our Lubbock guests, with a unique look and feel among our Market Street locations — including our Dallas-Fort Worth stores," said Wes Jackson, chief merchandising officer for United Supermarkets, LLC.More

Express Scripts exit gives Walgreens confidence in second quarter
Retailing Today
On the eve of a potential Federal Trade Commission approval of the Express Scripts/Medco merger, Walgreens' underlying fundamentals still are strong, Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson told analysts recently. It's that underlying strength that has helped Walgreens in the wake of its exit from the Express Scripts pharmacy benefit network, a factor that impacted Walgreens' net earnings by 7 cents per diluted share for its second quarter ended Feb. 29.More

Family Dollar boosts second quarter net 10.7 percent
Home Furnishings News
Second-quarter net income for Family Dollar totaled $136.4 million, up 10.7 percent from the second quarter of last year. The dollar-store retailer accomplished this growth primarily through an 8.6 percent rise in net sales, to $2.5 billion, which included a 4.5 percent gain in same-store sales.More

Macy's and Dillard's renew their success
Houston Chronicle
The last 20 years have been hard on department stores. In that time, the market share for the department store industry shrank by more than half, and some analysts wondered if the sector might vanish. Among the challenges: More shoppers are heading to discount and specialty stores or going online.More

Belk net jumps 43.5 percent in fiscal 2012
Home Furnishings News
Belk Inc. posted a 43.5 percent increase in net income, to $183.1 million, for its fiscal year 2012 ending on Jan. 28. The bottom line grew measurably blacker for the department-store retailer thanks to an increase in sales, improved margins and expense leverage. Net sales rose 5.3 percent to $3.7 billion, including a 5.5 percent gain in same-store sales.More

Macy's elects Brown-Forman executive to board
Home Furnishings News
Paul C. Varga, chairman and CEO of wine and spirit producer Brown-Forman Corporation, has been elected to the Macy's, Inc. board of directors. Terry J. Lundgren, Macy's, Inc. chairman, president and CEO called Varga a "dynamic business leader and strategic thinker with an impressive track record in building and marketing global brands."More

NRF appoints vice president of communications
Progressive Grocer
The National Retail Federation has named Katie Wilson vice president of communications, effective April 9. In her new role, Wilson will oversee the organization's industry efforts, a multitude of communication vehicles and the advancement of NRF advocacy priorities on issues important to the retail community. She will assume many of the responsibilities of Ellen Davis, who was recently named NRF executive vice president and executive director of the NRF Foundation.More

Staples appoints new e-commerce director for Europe
Kantar Retail
Staples has appointed Willem Vos as Director of E-commerce for Staples Europe. He will report to Peter Howard, senior vice president, Head of Staples Online and Marketing, Staples Europe.More