Drug store retailing giant Walgreen Co ., Deerfield, Ill., plans to offer fresh foods and prepared meals to its more than 7,000 stores, according to a recent article by theTennessean, Nashville, Tenn.
Bryan Pugh, vice president of merchandising, told the media outlet that Walgreen contactedUnilever NV,Nestle SA,Sara Lee Corp. and others about creating private-label and branded products.
"Everyone is time-starved, and we have the most convenient 7,000 locations in the U.S.," Pugh said. "They're on-the-way-home destinations that are easy to get in and out of and will provide a good value."
He declined to say when the project will be implemented or how much it costs. Pugh noted that Walgreen still must sort out supply and distribution issues and test in some markets before introducing freshly prepared foods such as salads, cut fruits, ready-to-bake pizzas and sandwiches into more stores.
The goal of the program, along with the sale of beer and private-label wine, is to boost revenue, Pugh said. Same-store sales declined in November and December as 10 percent unemployment and falling home values blunted consumer spending.
In other news Walgreen recently announced three executive promotions. One involvesColin F. Watts, divisional vice president of innovation and new product development. Walgreen said Watts was promoted to a corporate vice president.
Watts, 44, previously was vice president and general manager at the Campbell Soup Company and president of McNeil Consumer Healthcare Worldwide, a division of Johnson & Johnson, before joining Walgreen in 2008.
Walgreen's eyes prepared foods
January 18, 2010