Commerce Dept.: Health, personal care store sales up year-over-year, year-to-date sales down slightly over 2012
WASHINGTON — Seasonally adjusted retail sales increased by 0.6% in April over last year, while unadjusted retail sales increased 3.9%, according to numbers released Monday by the Department of Commerce.
The figures, which exclude cars, gas stations and restaurants, showed that retail sales for the month increased 0.1%.
"In the face of higher taxes and sequester, consumers provided the economy a bit of a reprieve this month," National Retail Federation president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Despite colder spring weather and an early Easter, consumers shopped in April, demonstrating an inherent resiliency even as the economy faces serious headwinds, including stagnant job and wage growth."
The report did not include the latest figures for retail pharmacies in particular, but the health and personal care stores category showed sales of $22.693 billion, a slight uptick from last April’s $22.686 billion; the four-month total for the category of $91.5 billion represented a 0.5% decrease from the first four months of last year. Supermarkets had sales of $46.3 billion for the month, up from $46.1 billion the year before, while the four-month total of $188.1 billion was 2.2% higher than the same period last year.
Some analysts saw the data as a sign of good things to come for the retail industry.
"A meaningful sequential up-tick in April retail sales — from upwardly revised March results — is a clearly positive data point," Guggenheim Securities analyst John Heinbockel wrote in a note to investors, adding that dollar stores would have the best risk-reward profile in the sector. "We would also note that various discretionary categories strengthened while the more defensive consumables categories weakened. Given that weather, though better than prior months, was still challenging in April, spending momentum may well improve further over the next two months before moderating again."
Got private label? Perrigo unveils store-brand OTC image campaign
ALLEGAN, Mich. — Perrigo on Monday announced it has kicked off a broad industry marketing and communications campaign to raise awareness for, and consumer confidence in, generic over-the-counter store-brand medications.
"Although we continue to see growing acceptance among consumers for store brand medications, questions and misinformation are still out there," stated Jeff Needham, Perrigo EVP and general manager for U.S. consumer healthcare. "We know there is a real benefit to helping educate consumers on how store brands are regulated, made and sold. It helps us, it helps the industry, it helps our retailers and, most important, it empowers consumers by giving them the facts and information they need to make purchase decisions."
Referencing other successful industry branding campaigns like "Got Milk?" or "Pork: The Other White Meat," Perrigo’s primary objective for the "Store Brand Meds" campaign is to better educate consumers on the quality, value and effectiveness of store brand medications.
According to Perrigo, store brand sales account for 35% of the dollar share of all OTCs sold at retail today, but misperceptions about their quality and effectiveness still exist among some consumers. The Store Brand Meds campaign will rely heavily on social media, leveraging the campaign’s recently launched Facebook page, YouTube channel and web site to spread the word.
Since the campaign’s "soft launch" in January 2013, consumers have a new opportunity to learn about and engage with Store Brand Meds via its Facebook page. The campaign’s videos on YouTube now have more than 3.2 million views. The company is also making significant investments in digital advertising, public relations and electronic couponing to drive more awareness about the campaign.
Although it varies by category, Perrigo estimates that a customer will save an average of 36% by purchasing the store brand instead of the name brand. According to Perrigo, the company’s store brand OTCs save consumers around $5 billion annually.
Pop-Tarts adds peanut butter flavors after high demand from fans
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Pop-Tarts has "Gone Nutty" with the newest addition to its line of breakfast pastries launching two new varieties of peanut butter-filled items after high customer demand.
"Peanut butter has long been the most requested flavor by our fans," said Dick Podiak, director of marketing for Pop-Tarts. "We think everyone will agree it was worth the wait once they taste these delicious new varieties."
Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty is available in two flavors: Peanut Butter and Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Peanut Butter Pop-Tarts have a filling made with real peanut butter and are sprinkled with fine sugar crystals, while the Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor features a chocolate pastry crust and sweet frosting. Both are wrapped in special gold foil, differentiating them from the brand’s traditional silver foil wrappers. The peanut butter flavors are available now at local retailers.
Pop-Tarts is a Kellogg Company brand.
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