Walgreens is searching for community-relevant vendors nationwide.
Walgreens has revealed that it will once again hold its Localization Summit, a virtual showcase for diverse, local and regional businesses and entrepreneurs to share their retail offerings with the merchants of the national drug store chain. The virtual event, hosted by RangeMe and ECRM, gives local suppliers the opportunity to connect with the Walgreens merchandising team, share their products and receive feedback, with the ultimate goal of being stocked on Walgreens shelves in their local areas.
The merchandising event, slated for Feb. 22, will focus on products across grocery and household, apparel, beach, tourism, and general merchandise, among other categories. Suppliers can find additional information about the virtual event and apply to attend here.
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Building on the success of last year’s localization summit, Walgreens aims to bring in local businesses from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to evaluate opportunities to build more locally relevant product offerings for Walgreens customers and ensure deeper collaboration with new suppliers for the future.
All sourcing and product submissions will be made through RangeMe, the online product discovery and sourcing platform. Walgreens will review submissions and then invite selected suppliers for face-to-face virtual meetings with buyers on ECRM’s virtual meeting platform, ECRM Connect, where chosen suppliers can introduce innovative products into the marketplace.
“To be a trusted health and well-being destination, we work hard to remain relevant for customers in each of our communities and curate a selection of products and services that meet their unique needs,” said Luke Rauch, chief merchandising officer and SVP at Walgreens, which is included in the U.S. Retail Pharmacy and U.S. Healthcare segments of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. “When our shelves reflect the communities we serve, we can better live out our purpose of more joyful lives through better health.”
Amid rapidly scaling its consumer-centric health care model, Walgreens Boots Alliance recently reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter and fiscal year financial results when compared with a year that saw a major boost thanks to COVID-19 vaccinations. Full-year sales increased 1.2% on a constant-currency basis, but when excluding a negative impact from AllianceRx and positive contributions from U.S. health care merger and acquisition activity, core sales growth was 6%. For the fourth quarter ending Aug. 31, sales from continuing operations were down 5.3% from the same period last year to $32.4 billion, a decrease of 3.2% on a constant-currency basis. Adjusted operating income was $744 million, representing a 38.2% decrease that can be tied to lower U.S. pharmacy operating results caused by last year’s COVID-19 vaccination drive.
Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, which operates nearly 9,000 retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is No. 5 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.