BEAUTY CARE

Center store sees greater activity, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Revamping the center store could present an opportunity worth more than $440 billion for supermarkets, according to a new study by SymphonyIRI.

As retailers have sought to bring differentiation to their stores, they have focused on perimeter departments — such as meat, produce and the bakery — while placing less emphasis on the center store. But the IRI study, "Center Store: Driving Growth from the Inside Out," indicated that center store departments today are playing a central role in serving consumer packaged good shoppers, capturing nearly two-thirds of CPG dollars and 70% of unit sales.

"The center store has truly become the heartbeat of the store," SyphonyIRI Group editor of Times & Trends Susan Viamari said. "Consumers are turning to home-based eating and self-reliant and beauty care to save money, and the center store has benefitted greatly from these consumer rituals. It’s no surprise that competition is heating up, so differentiation will be the key to ongoing success."

According to an analysis of center-store departments, grocers and convenience stores controlled a combined 69% share of beverage sales, but convenience stores’ share has climbed by nearly 1% compared with grocery stores. Meanwhile, grocers control 54% of general food sales, but that share declined in the last year as mass merchandisers, club retailers and convenience stores increased their share.

Meanwhile, the drug channel saw center-store sales decline, thought not as sharply as grocery stores, with the sharpest losses coming from the health and beauty aisles.

Across 3-of-the-10 largest center-store categories during the past year — coffee, energy drinks and bottled water — unit sales climbed. Meanwhile, merchandising support increased across 42% of center-store categories.

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Dr. Fresh acquires Reach brand manual toothbrushes

BY Antoinette Alexander

BUENA PARK, Calif. — Dr. Fresh, a designer and marketer of oral care products, has acquired the Reach brand of manual toothbrushes from the Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNeil-PPC. 

The sale includes rights in the United States, its territories, the Caribbean and Canada. The acquisition does not include Reach-brand floss or other interdental products. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Reach brand debuted in 1972 as the brainchild of two engineers and a dentist who together sought to design a toothbrush that could better clean hard-to-reach places. 

"Reach is an iconic family brand that is a strong complement to our existing portfolio. At Dr. Fresh, we are capable of moving quickly with brand innovation, resulting in leading-edge, high-performance products at very affordable prices," stated Doug Corbett, president and CEO of Dr. Fresh.

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Axe joins roster of 2013 Super Bowl advertisers

BY Antoinette Alexander

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — For the first time since its U.S. launch in 2002, Unilever’s Axe brand will air a television commercial during Super Bowl XLVII.

The spot is entitled “Lifeguard,” and includes a twist at the end that aligns with a larger creative campaign scheduled for a January 2013 launch, the company stated.

“As a lifestyle brand synonymous with innovative products and marketing, we are always pushing boundaries into uncharted territories,” stated Gaston Vaneri, brand director for Axe. “We have some extraordinary news to announce in 2013, taking our interaction with our fans to new heights, so the Super Bowl became the obvious platform to share it with the world.”


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