Sales soar during holiday gift-buying season

’Tis the season for toy and electronics gifts. It’s no coincidence that it’s also the biggest time of the year for battery sales. Ramping up displays can help retailers optimize the season.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

“One-third of all battery sales occur from October through December when consumers are buying gifts that require batteries,” said Jeff Jarrett, the marketing director for Duracell. “Visibly disrupting consumers’ shopping patterns reminds consumers to purchase.” Jarrett said that adding one extra display can increase battery sales by 25%. “We always recommend a battery center near the front of the store and at checkout, but additional locations are crucial during this season.”

Energizer recommends a feature and display program, along with multiple purchase prompts in high-traffic areas. “Shoppers expect to find batteries in the home, checkout and secondary locations,” said Lou Martire, VP trade development at Energizer Holdings.

Batteries are still a highly impulsive category, with 58% to 60% of purchases made on impulse, according to Kent Klagos, VP North America sales for Rayovac. While drug stores steer away from stocking large value packs typically found in club stores or mass merchants during most of the year, the holiday season is an opportunity for the drug channel to grab some of that business.

Alkaline batteries continue to grab the biggest share of sales. “Alkaline batteries are the star of the category, and AA’s are “the big kahuna,” Jarrett said. AA batteries generate around 50% of category sales, according to Rayovac data, with AAA sales accounting for 18% of category sales. “We’re seeing an increase in AAA sales as electronic devices in the home get smaller,” Klagos said.

Alkaline batteries with extended product claims are driving the category. Energizer MAX batteries, for example, now feature a new Power Seal Technology that allows them to hold power for up to a decade in storage. “This extended shelf life provides consumers with added assurance that their batteries will work when needed to power essential daily devices like children’s toys, remote controls and clocks,” Martire said. Duracell recently launched Quantum, also featuring a 10-year guarantee.

Energizer also will be stressing safety this holiday season. “In response to a growing concern about the dangers of small children ingesting coin batteries, Energizer was the first to voluntarily upgrade to child-resistant packaging on its 20 mm coin lithium batteries,” Martire said.

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