Eckerd’s 10 Point Strategy

Jan 15, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Wayne Harris, ceo, Eckerd and other company executives, yesterday, unveiled the drugstore chain’s plan for its business to a meeting of 90 financial analysts in Palm Harbor, FL, says the St. Petersburg Times.

Highlights of the meeting included:

  1. Mr. Harris asserted the company is looking for better performance from its Florida stores as tourism rebounds in the state.

  2. Eckerd plans to emphasize private label, particularly in the area of OTC medications.

  3. The chain plans a concerted effort to capture a greater share of the processing market for digital cameras.

  4. Eckerd will expand its cosmetics section and increase customer service with in-store beauty advisers. The drugstore chain will also sell exclusive store brands as well as major brand products from Revlon, L’Oreal, Almay and Max Factor.

  5. Eckerd is rolling out its Quantum leap supply-chain management program. The company predicts that it will improve inventory management and reduce out-of-stocks.

  6. The company intends to be the number one or two drugstore retailer in every market in which it does business.

  7. The chain will expand some existing stores and relocate others within metro markets to better serve high-growth neighborhoods. Mr. Harris cited Publix as a chain that has employed this strategy with great success.

  8. Pharmacy is Eckerd’s “lifeblood” and the chain’s new stores will use robotics and pill-counting technology to improve customer service and reduce expenses.

  9. The company unveiled a new prototype store. The 14,000 square foot units are a larger version of the chain’s current store format according to the St. Petersburg Times‘ report.

  10. Mr. Harris announced plans for Eckerd to enter the Denver market which he sees as currently being underserved in relation to the population growth taking place. The chain has identified 35 potential sites to open drugstores.

Moderator’s Comment: What is your assessment of Eckerd’s
position in the drugstore market and its plans for growth?

There certainly isn’t anything revolutionary in Eckerd’s
plans. That said, maybe a revolution isn’t needed. Wayne Harris has his team
focused on the basics of offering products that consumers want, making sure
they are in-stock and finding ways to improve operational efficiencies.
Anderson – Moderator

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