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Suppliers help consumers get more intimate on-shelf

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK —Beginning this fall, customers shopping intimacy health are going to get a whole new eyeful of products, as condoms go vertical. It’s a space-efficiency program that’s going to create additional facing opportunities across the category—on average, that will mean an additional three vertical condom packages for every two horizontal packages on the shelf today.

The generation of more facings without sacrificing additional space means better sales-per-sq.-in., especially as the category remains on a steady growth trajectory. Sales of condoms were up 2.2% to $271.9 million for the 52 weeks ended April 18 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to data from SymphonyIRI Group; sales of personal lubricants increased by 11.5% to $162.9 million in that period; and sales of sexual enhancement devices grew 34.4% to $10.1 million. Overall, the intimacy health set generated $444.9 million, up 6%.

Not withstanding the category growth, condoms represent a difficult category to shop, and the new alignment is expected to make intimacy selections easier to identify quickly. “Categorywide, [condoms] tend to underperform norms for personal care products,” Steve Mare, Durex senior brand manager, said. “The opportunity here is to clean up the category, make it more organized.”

“Consumers spend less than 10 seconds at the shelf [in this category],” said Jim Daniels, Church & Dwight VP marketing, as compared with the almost two-and-a-half minutes shoppers take in deciding which pregnancy test kit to buy. “What we learned from that is that we need to make the category easy to shop [and] well organized,” he said. According to Daniels, the purchasing hierarchy across condoms are brand, benefits and lubricant types, in that order.

All of this suggests a steady flow of new, innovative products. “[Retailers] may not free up space for condoms, necessarily, they may free up space for vibrating devices and personal lubricants,” said Carol Carrozza, VP marketing for Ansell Healthcare.

“Innovation is the lifeblood of this category,” Daniels said, noting that C&D is taking the opportunity to upgrade its packaging graphics based on its most recent consumer research. As for new products, C&D last month launched its Trojan Fire & Ice, a condom that combines two lubricants inside and outside the condom.

Durex is introducing the Durex Love Box at NACDS Marketplace—a two-SKU launch, each featuring eight unique design elements across the packaging. “Consumers consider [current condom] packaging to be boring—Love Box packaging is anything but boring,” Mare said. “Consumers are embarrassed to buy and sometimes carry condoms, these are much more fun to shop, more discreet and easier to carry.”

And Ansell is launching its LifeStyles Kyng condom and Thyn condom for July, rounding out its “LifeStyles Signature Collection” that also includes Skyn.

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NACDS puts a new spin on Meet the Market

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO This year the National Association of Chain Drug Stores introduced two new features to its Meet the Market format. First, NACDS hosted a Meet the Market Presentation Template webinar twice prior to Meet the Market, in which NACDS introduced a meeting template that succinctly captured all of the information retailers typically use to evaluate a new product or company.

Also new to Meet the Market were the booths of 10 service companies — trade media and professional education, merchandising consultants and marketing/media information companies — which afforded an opportunity for new and smaller suppliers to meet with these organizations.

“New companies have a need not only to meet with retailers, obviously, they have a need for their business,” noted Jim Whitman, NACDS SVP meetings and conferences. Another ongoing improvement is the productivity within each meeting, Whitman added. “We keep refining the match, the appointments,” he said.

This year, the Meet the Market format — in which smaller and new suppliers have 10-minute meetings with their category buyers — represented more than 8,000 face-to-face pre-arranged appointments.

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Retail clinic growth slowing down? Not a chance

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The news that Target is looking to expand its retail-based clinic business this year is yet one more indicator that reports of the demise of retail clinic growth have been greatly exaggerated.

(THE NEWS: Target to expand its retail clinic presence. For the full story, click here)

As the article states, Target, which opened its first clinic in 2006, is looking to open up eight new locations this September. It already operates 28 locations in Minnesota and Maryland.

It wasn’t so long ago — April to be exact — that CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic indicated that it could double its current number of clinics in five years.

Why the growth? Well, aside from the aging population and a shortage of primary care physicians, a major catalyst is healthcare reform, which will mean that 32 million people who currently are uninsured will have healthcare coverage. With emergency rooms already overflowing, and primary care physicians already over-extended, having a retail clinic nearby where patients can receive convenient, quality and affordable health care will only become increasingly important.

Meanwhile, RediClinic, which has 22 clinics in H-E-B stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, is cranking up its marketing efforts and has tapped former Duane Reade executive Jeff Thompson as VP marketing. Thompson will be responsible for RediClinic’s consumer and partner marketing activities, including developing and implementing strategic customer acquisition/retention programs, new product delivery and brand strategy.

Thompson most recently served as VP marketing for Duane Reade.

Clearly, there continues to be significant growth opportunities for clinics — both in terms of the number of clinic locations and the scope of services offered within the clinics. As mentioned earlier, there are 32 million reasons why the growth will be quite dramatic.

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