Maybelline NY-Garnier’s David Greenberg
with Karen Fondu of L’Oréal Paris at L’Oréal’s “Old Hollywood Glamour” party.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) held their 2012 Annual Meeting at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida from April 21-24. Approximately 2,100 industry gurus, including a diverse group of beauty marketers and retailers, gathered to
discuss a variety of topics, including the future of beauty in chain drug stores.

At the morning business program on April 22, the State of the Association address was delivered by NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson, who praised the meetings’ attendees for “providing the innovation that our nation so desperately needs.” He also added, “I know of no other industry that invests more uncommon energy in understanding its history and its future. Let’s keep up this amazing work.”

NACDS chairman of the Board, Robert Loeffler, took to the stage to present the State of the Industry, and noted that agility has been one of the key characteristics of NACDS over the last year.

“We need to continue telling the story of community pharmacy using government advocacy,” said Loeffler. “The work of NACDS will never be done. It will always remain a work of progress, but we are raising the bar each year.”

At this year’s meeting, amidst a challenging economic environment and an election year, NACDS invited Dr. Larry Sabato, election analyst and university professor, to deliver the keynote address on the current state of candidacy for president.

“When it comes to making preliminary picks, I am cautious about April predictions,” said Sabato. “There are pluses and minuses for both Obama and Romney…I think this is one of the weakest deals ever, for either party. I can’t stand here and tell you this is an election about healthcare because it’s not. The economy will determine the results of this race, and right now, economic growth is sub-par, and people aren’t happy.”

Representatives from several key chain drug stores—Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, Wegmans, Family Dollar and Walmart—educated attendees on the rapidly-changing landscape of retail at the “Meet the Retailer” program on April 21.

Joseph Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions for Walgreen Co., and Bryan Pugh, vice president and CMO of Walgreen Co., presented the store’s new model called the “well-experience store.”

“We have 100 Duane Reade’s done and 100 Walgreens done,” said Magnacca. “This new concept involves moving from being a corner drugstore to a retail health and daily living destination.”

Meanwhile, the chain is working to launch its “Best in Class” loyalty program in September, and is aggressively growing its social media presence—it’s the number one drugstore chain on Facebook with 1.9 million fans.

CVS, which now occupies more than 7,300 stores, discussed their intense effort to customize and personalize the consumer’s shopping experience by capitalizing on data the company has accumulated through their “Extra Care” loyalty program—which has issued more than 275 million unique cards over the last 14 years.

“There is a $25 billion opportunity in health and beauty in the customers we have today,” said Grant Pill, vice president of merchandising for OTC healthcare and store brands at CVS Caremark Corporation. “It’s not about bringing new people to the store, it’s about winning over the ones that we’ve already got, and getting them to shop more categories and spend more dollars.”

CVS Caremark Corporation’s Rob Price
and Judy Sansone.
Walgreen Co.’s Sona Chawla, Julie Johnston, Douglas Mott and Miguel Almeida. Family Dollar’s Mike Bloom and Paul White.
Wegmans’ Karen Shadders with Bryan Stuke
of P&G.
Sinful Colors’ Michele Legacy-Gugino
and Paul Murphy.
Rite Aid’s John Standley and Bill Renz.
Maybelline NY-Garnier’s Ed Trapani and
Dan Kuzdro at the L’Oréal party.
L’Oréal USA’s Dave Waldock and Don Bush with Todd Vasos of Dollar General Corporation (c.)
at the L’Oréal party.
Beauty Fashion’s George Ledes with
Lisa Carvalho of Maybelline New York
at the L’Oréal party.

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