Retail in brief | WBA, McKesson, H&B

Retail in brief | WBA, McKesson, H&B
Gunjan Bhow has worked for Amazon, the Walt Disney Company and Microsoft

10 May 2019 - Deborah Wilkes

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has recruited its first global chief digital officer, McKesson is closing more pharmacies in Europe, and Holland & Barrett (H&B) is banning the sale of wet-wipe products.

First-ever global chief digital officer

WBA has appointed Gunjan Bhow – former senior vice president and general manager of the Walt Disney Company – as its first-ever global chief digital officer. The US-based retailer and distributor said Bhow had led "transformative" initiatives at Disney in the fields of direct-to-consumer, subscription, commerce, data and loyalty.

Prior to joining Disney, Bhow worked for Amazon, Microsoft and Plantronics.

WBA has also made Vineet Mehra its first global chief marketing officer. He has worked for Novartis Consumer Health and Procter & Gamble as well as Ancestry.com and Avon.

McKesson plans more pharmacy closures

McKesson plans to close down more pharmacies in Europe. The US drug distributor, which owns the Lloydspharmacy chain, said there would be "further closures of retail pharmacy stores across Europe".

The news came as McKesson reported sales at its European Pharmaceutical Solutions Segment had risen by 2% on a currency-adjusted basis to USD6.8 billion in the three months ended 31 March 2019. The company said market growth had been partially offset by "the fiscal 2018 actions to sell or divest owned retail pharmacies and a challenging market environment in the UK". Sales were down by 6% as reported.

McKesson closed or sold around 200 pharmacies in fiscal 2018 ended 31 March 2018 (click here to read the News story).

H&B ends sale of wet wipes

UK-based H&B is banning the sale of wet-wipe products from its 800 stores in the UK and Ireland. Participating international stores will also stop selling the products. 

The retailer said all 34 products in its wet-wipe range would be replaced with "environmentally-friendly and sustainable alternatives by the end of September 2019".

H&B is calling on other retailers to follow its lead.

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