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Catman: por favor, mantenlo fresco

Catman: por favor, mantenlo fresco

Author: Liz Wells 


Healthy and beauty is big business, and not only for the multiples and specialist retailers.

Every single household in the UK buys into the toiletries category and, according to Unilever’s Partners for Growth category advice initiative, more than one-third of convenience shoppers are looking to buy toiletries. Most toiletries shoppers will be on a ‘need now’ mission, says Nick Widdowson, merchandising and creative controller at Partners for Growth.

“And, with certain items such as toothpaste, shower gel and deodorant being used every day, when they are running low – or worse, have run out – shoppers look to replace them as quickly as possible.” It is these core products, which shoppers need to replace quickly, that are most likely to be purchased in convenience stores. Because they are on an ‘immediate need’ mission, shoppers tend not to browse the fixture, so Partners for Growth recommends retailers stick to a core range of best-sellers in these areas, rather than broadening out into beauty products.

Good visibility
Says Widdowson: “Top-up purchases form a large part of sales, so simplicity and visibility are key to enable shoppers to find what they want quickly and easily. Unfortunately, 18% of shoppers don’t know toiletries are sold in their local convenience store. Retailers need to make it obvious to their customers that they stock toiletries.” He advises placing items near the front of the store where they can easily be seen, and by the till if possible. Duncan Hill, managing director at shelving specialist HL Display, recommends dual-siting. Impulse purchases like lip balm, mini-tubes of hand cream, dental floss and handy packs of tissues should be located by the checkout. The rest of the range should be sited in a high-traffic aisle so it catches the attention of as many customers as possible, he adds.

Back to basics
So, what sort of range should you be stocking? Hill says: “Busy consumers appreciate the fact they can pop into their local shop and pick up beauty and oral care products to avoid running out of essentials. While they may not expect to find a department store worthy range, shoppers are looking for more than a basic range of deodorants, shampoo and toothpaste.”

Says Widdowson: “The best range for convenience is one that features the top two or three products in each of the main subsections of toiletries, ie deodorants, haircare, skincare, shower, lip-care, bath etc. A range like this will meet the maximum number of shopper needs and thereby maximise your sales.”

A further key piece of advice is to focus on well-known brands. “Personal care shoppers are looking for quality and product performance,” advises Partners for Growth. “Trusted brands provide shoppers with reassurance of value for money.”

Brand loyalists
When buying toiletries, says research from industry analyst HIM, shoppers are loyal to particular brands, with three-quarters of convenience customers saying they intend to buy a leading brand in-store. Price-marked packs of these leading brands are also a good idea, as they help boost confidence among shoppers that they are getting a fair price. Growth area in toiletries include haircare – driven by designer conditioners and treatments – as well as washing and bathing. But a key growth segment is male grooming.

Growing sector
Hill at HL Display says: “The male grooming sector continues to grow and evolve, and while a few years back it was forward-thinking to stock, for example, men’s moisturisers, the question today is what type of moisturisers should be on offer.” Sales of men’s toiletries are growing by 3% in the convenience sector, says Widdowson at Partners for Growth, with deodorants, haircare and hair styling showing the strongest growth (up 5% each) within that segment. He says: “Ninety percent of men use deodorant and 80% buy it themselves, so make it easy to find on the fixture and not mixed in with female products. Men are more likely to spend money on specialised products if they are separated into a ‘male grooming’ area. But make sure they are not sited next to femcare, as this makes male shoppers uncomfortable.”

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