Shoppers Drug Mart moves forward with aggressive campaign

TORONTO Shoppers Drug Mart, already a formidable national drug store competitor north of the border, will be looking to tweak its future performance through its aggressive new store opening campaign with a focus in Quebec, a marked expansion of its successful beauty boutique store-within-a-store concepts, a reorganization and product expansion in its Healthy Living sets and an update to its loyalty card program, which today boasts more than 7.7 million active cardholders, the company’s president and chief executive officer Jurgen Schreiber told analysts Scotia Capital conference held here Tuesday.

According to Schreiber, Shoppers Drug Mart by the end of the year will have approximately 1,045 locations across Canada, marking the chain’s largest increase in real estate in its history. The expansion includes between 110 and 120 new stores and a $400 million (US$390 million) commitment.

The chain has also expanded its beauty boutique store-within-a-store formats, and expects approximately 140 boutiques to be opened by year’s end. Currently, Shoppers Drug Mart operates 93 boutiques. “The end of this journey we believe will be on 250-plus stores [containing a] beauty boutique [department],” Schreiber said.

For the first quarter of next year, Shoppers plans to reconfigure its Healthy Living corner—the corner of the store housing natural products and dietary supplements—to include more organic private-label convenient-foods. “There’s one corner of the store which is not optimized, and that’s the Healthy Living corner,” Schreiber said, noting that between 150 and 250 private label products will be launched in the first quarter of next year. “It’s convenient food; it’s health food; it’s what fits to us,” he said, emphasizing that the chain will not be making an entry into fresh foods with its organic offerings.

Shoppers Drug Mart is also looking to launch a new VIP card for its heaviest shoppers next year. Shoppers’ loyalty card currently boasts more than 7.7 million active members, who spend on average 66 percent more than non-cardholders, Schreiber said.