stock checker on analgesics
D. P. Hamacher & Associates, a division of NONSTOP Solutions Inc., provided the material for this column. The Hamacher firm is a Milwaukee-based management consulting company specializing in drugstore management tools. For further information, call Hamacher at 1-(800) 888-0889, or e-mail the company at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hamacher also has a Web site at http://www.Hamacher.com .
Whether its a throbbing headache or the muscle soreness of the overzealous weekend athlete, pain slows everyone down. And for many in our fast-paced society, slowing down is not an acceptable option. Fortunately, analgesics are. In fact, more than 75 million households purchased an analgesic last year.
These consumers prefer to buy analgesics in food stores and drugstores. Both outlets control a 35% share of the category, with mass outlets holding the remaining 30%.
Sales in the analgesics category as a whole fell 2% over the past year. However, even though sales declined, the category still generated $3.25 billion. Internal analgesics produced 91% of those sales, and external analgesics supplied the remaining 9%.
Within internal analgesics, customers are sticking to the old standbys. The combined sales of Tylenol, Advil, and private labels account for 63% of adult internal analgesic sales. According to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Tylenol leads the way in the subcategory with six of the top 10 SKUs. Advil Tablets 24- and 50-counts rank No. 1 and No. 2 in unit sales. In an 8-ft. department, at least 30 linear feet should be dedicated to these brands to satisfy the demand.
Another emerging trend: using aspirin to promote cardiovascular health. Aspirin regimen tablets, 81-mg strength, generate sales of $320 million, almost 42% of total aspirin sales.
External analgesics showed the most promise for drugstores, increasing sales 16.3% over the past year. Favorable demographics, a more active society, and a growing number of arthritis sufferers are spurring this growth. As our society ages, sales of external analgesics should continue to expand. Seniors and aging baby boomers are continually looking for ways to keep their active lifestyles pain-free and intact.
New consumers entering the marketnot the introduction of new productsare stimulating the growth in the external analgesics subcategory. Since January 2001, Hamacher has recorded only five new entries in the subcategory. Three are pain-relieving patches: Absorbine Jr. Pain Relief, Excedrin Cooling Pads, and Icy Hot Patches. Icy Hot, carried by the most wholesalers, ranks 270th in the analgesics category.
Because many people use both internal and external analgesics for their aches and pains, merchandising the two together makes good sense. The analgesics category is extremely diverse and can be confusing to shoppers. To help clear this confusion, we recommend the use of symptom-identifying shelf strips. These strips make your department easier to shop, which is always considered an added advantage in the consumers mind. In identifying symptoms, shelf strips also identify most subcategories in the department: aspirin, non-aspirin, anti-inflammatory, nighttime relief, stimulants, sedatives, childrens, specialty pain relief, hemorrhoid relief, as well as arthritis and sports rubs.
When you offer a wide variety of private-label/store brands, you give customers more optionswhile you increase your stores profitability. Private-label margins tend to be 15% to 25% higher than those of their branded counterparts. Whats more, both unit volume and dollar sales for private-label items are on the rise. This is due, in part, to the increasing quality of private-label items. No longer regarded as "generics," store brands are considered more like inexpensive equivalents.
For drugstores seeking to differentiate themselves from their competitors, the analgesics department is a great place to start. Offer a broad selection and highlight department subcategories with shelf labels. The easier your department is to shop, the more attractive it becomes to your customers. Also, counseling is important for this department. Analgesics should be as close to the pharmacy as possible, so customers can discuss choosing the right product with the pharmacist.
|Large Dept.||Medium Dept.||Small Dept.|
|Linear feet Number of SKUs Estimated sales per year Estimated inventory retail Retail inventory turns||96 300 $53,130 $7,000 7.6||64 210 $45,300 $5,500 8.2||32 110 $30,800 $3,300 9.3|
Absorbine Jr Pain Relief Patch 6
Advil Childrens Suspension 4 oz. Blue Rasp
Aleve Caplet 100 Easy Open
Excedrin Cooling Pads 7
Icy Hot Patches 5 X/S
Midol Caplet 40 M/S Menstrual
Motrin Child Suspension 4 oz. Berry D/F
Motrin Infant Drops 1 oz. Berry N/S
St Joseph Chewtabs 36 Orange
St. Joseph Tablet Enteric Coated 36, 180
Tylenol Arthritis Caplet 250
Uniserts Suppositories 650 mg 12, 50
Use this never-out list to monitor your in-stock condition. The items listed account for more than 50% of the dollar sales in the analgesics category. An out-of-stock on any of these items represents a significant loss of sales.
____ Advil Caplets 24, 50
____ Advil Childrens Suspension 4-oz. Fruit
____ Advil Tablets 24, 50, 100
____ Aleve Caplets 24, 50, 100
____ Aleve Tablets 24, 50
____ Anusol Ointment 1 oz.
____ Aspercreme 3-oz. Cream Tube
____ Azo Standard Tab 30
____ Bayer Aspirin Chewable 36 Orange
____ Bayer Aspirin Reg/Low Tab 120
____ Bayer Aspirin Tab 24, 50, 100
____ BenGay Ointment 2 oz. Greaseless
____ BenGay Ultra Strength 2 oz.
____ Bonine motion Sickness Tab 8
____ Doans Caplet 24 X/S
____ Dramamine Tab 12
____ Ecotrin Tab 36 Adult Low Strength
____ Ecotrin Tab 100 Regular Strength
____ Excedrin X/S Tab 24
____ Icy Hot Cream 1.25 oz.
____ Midol Caplets 24 M/S Menstrual
____ Mineral Ice 8 oz. Original
____ Motrin Child Suspension 2 oz., 4 oz. Berry
____ Motrin Infant Drops .5 oz. Berry
____ Preparation H Cream .9 oz.
____ Preparation H Ointment 1 oz.
____ Preparation H Supp 12
____ Simply Sleep Cap 24
____ Tucks Pads 40, 100
____ Tylenol Arthritis Caplet 50, 100
____ Tylenol Child Suspension 4 oz. Cherry
____ Tylenol Infant Drops 15 ml Grape, Cherry
____ Tylenol PM X/S Caplets 24, 50
____ Tylenol PM X/S Geltab 24
____ Tylenol Softchew 30 Grape
____ Tylenol Tab 100
____ Tylenol X/S Caplet 24, 50, 100
____ Tylenol X/S Gelcap 24, 50, 100
____ Tylenol X/S Geltab 24, 50
____ Tylenol X/S Liquid 8 oz.
____ Tylenol X/S Tab 30, 60, 100
____ Unisom Sleep Tab 16
____ Vivarin Tab 16
____ Zostrix Cream 2 oz.
This list includes the most popular and price-sensitive SKUs in the analgesics category. Use it to see if your prices on these key items fall within the average everyday retail range.
Tylenol PM X/S Caplet 50
Tylenol X/S Gelcap 24
Tylenol X/S Gelcap 100
Tylenol X/S Tablets 100
Advil Tablets 24
Advil Tablets 100
Aleve Caplet 24
Motrin IB Caplet 50
Motrin Child Suspension Berry
Tylenol Infant Drops 15 ml Cherry
Azo Standard Tabs 30
Bayer aspirin Tabs 100
Excedrin Migraine Caplets 100
Preparation H Ointment 1 oz.
Aspercreme 3 oz. Tube
BenGay Ultra Strength 2 oz.
Simply Sleep Caplet 24
Vivarin Tab 16
Sandra Levy. External painkillers lead sales in analgesics market.