Sunday, January 31, 2021

Will Rosalind Brewer Evolve Walgreens in a Grocerant Destination


Success does leave clues and Rosalind Brewer has demonstrates an ability for lifelong learning, growing business successfully, and continued personal growth according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®

Working at the intersection of fresh food, merchandising, and retail discovery Rosalind Brewer, once led Walmart’s Sam’s Club division as CEO before departing to be Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks, and has recently been selected to be the next CEO of drugstore operator Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA).

It is clear facts matter to Brewer.  Facts have contributed to her success. We must also note that Brewer was with Kimberly-Clark Corp. for 22 years, starting as a scientist and ultimately becoming president of the global nonwovens sector in 2004.

Around the globe the retail world has been disrupted the past year, Brewer who begins her new role March 15, 2021, has had a front row seat actively adapting, adjusting business models to complement customers desires, with new ‘local’ restrictions and regulations.  

For those of you who don’t know, Walgreens Boots Alliance operates the largest U.S. drug chain, with more than 9,000 units under the Walgreens and Duane Reade brands in all 50 states. It also controls Boots stores in Europe and Asia and international wholesale and distribution networks under the Alliance Healthcare banner. Thus, the insights Brewer gain while at Starbucks will complement her insights moving forward.

Regular readers of this blog know that Walgreens has been experimenting with fresh food retailing for many years, in fact Walgreens as many readers of this blog know was once the largest chain restaurant in the U.S. serving meals at a ‘lunch counter’.

Recently, Walgreens has experimented with Kroger on various strategies, including a fleet of stores doing double duty as online grocery pickup points and other stores testing Kroger-aligned food departments. Walgreens separately has pioneered food-to-go and substantial grocery offerings in many of its stores.

Here is what the team at Foodservice Solutions® knows:

1.       62.3% of all U.S. households are comprised of one or two people. US Census

2.       Online food and beverage sales — including grocery plus restaurant online delivery — jumped 125% to $106 billion over the 52 weeks ended Nov. 30, accounting for 12% of overall dollars spent in those categories, NielsenIQ data shows. 

3.       Restaurant digital ordering and delivery grew 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014.

4.       Grocerant ScoreCards found 82.3% of consumers don’t know what’s for dinner at Noon, and 61.1 don’t know what’ s for dinner at 4PM %.

5.       Prepared food purchases are frequently a planned purchase among 59% of shoppers, while 41% of shoppers said they buy prepared foods on impulse. Dinner has the highest amount of prepared food buys with 79% of respondents making purchases for that meal, while lunch comes in at 77% and breakfast at 62%.

While at Starbucks, Brewer was instrumental in helping the company accelerate its growth strategy, expand its global reach, and drive value, developing a mobile order and pay platform and revamping its rewards program.

Brewer recently stated, “The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and I am excited to work alongside the entire WBA team as we deliver further innovation and positively impact the lives of millions of people around the world every day. This is especially true today as the company plays a crucial role in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. I step into this role with great optimism for the future of WBA, a shared responsibility to serve our customers, patients and communities, and a commitment to drive long-term sustainable value for shareholders.”

It's at the intersection of retail, the healthcare industry, and the halo of ‘better-for-you’ fresh food discovery aka grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food that Walgreens will elevate discovery edifying a tomorrow’s long-term relationship with today’s and tomorrow’s customers.

Don’t over reach. Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Battle for Share of Stomach

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