Giant Eagle Tests In-Store Wellness Areas
By Tom Ryan
Giant Eagle, the regional supermarket, is testing dedicated health
and beauty areas featuring a wider selection of dietary supplements, a premium
cosmetics counter and a pharmacy outfitted with a drive-through window. In
addition to a pharmacist, the areas will field a dietitian and a licensed skin
Measuring 10,000 to 12,000 square feet in the three stores being
tested, the sections feature their own dedicated entrance, brighter lighting
and their own cash registers to accentuate the “separateness” from the rest
of the store, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The sections
are not large enough to hold the inventory of a big box discounter, a pharmacy
or a supplement store, but offer a sampling of each category. A particular
emphasis is on organic foods and nutritional supplements. Giant Eagle added
more than 500 new vitamin products and there also are areas for homeopathic
remedies and gluten-free snacks.
A large pharmacy anchoring the area includes an adjacent
private room for consultations. Pharmacists can administer some vaccines, and
flu and H1N1 shots, and test for glucose and cholesterol levels, or for osteoporosis.
licensed nutritionist conducts classes on food preparation and dieting tips.
Joshua E. Shapira, the grocer’s health and wellness director, told the Post-Gazette that Highmark insurance plans typically cover the seven to nine sessions, which
otherwise cost $50 each. “Our goal is to come up with a Giant Eagle program
in a couple of months that would get to all the insurers,” he
A licensed skin care specialist is on duty three to four days a
week as well as for consultations on everything from remedies for dry skin
or rashes to makeovers.
The test is so far being rolled out to two more locations
but could serve as a model for future formats. Since the program’s unveiling
in November, Mr. Shapira said health and beauty sales have increased 25 to
30 percent in the test locations.
Discussion Questions: What do you think of
Giant Eagle’s in-store wellness shops? Will supermarkets require dedicated
health sections to fully capitalize on this market opportunity?