Batteries pack into holiday lists
’Tis the season for battery multipacks. Battery-powered toys and electronic devices are on many holiday lists this season, and that means strong battery sales—in fact, about 35% to 40% of all household battery sales are generated in the fourth quarter.
Battery-powered toys are a significant part of the category—9-of-the-top-15 toys that make the Toys “R” Us Holiday Hot Toy List require batteries. “Toys keep getting more sophisticated. Much like our smart phones, they now perform more complex functions than ever, which makes them popular and also raises the level of importance for their battery power,” said Kurt Iverson, a spokesman for Procter & Gamble’s Duracell brand.
Alkaline batteries, Iverson said, always are on the list for most holiday gift buyers who have kids and toys on their agenda. “Toys make up the largest device category for batteries, and no time of year brings that out more than the holiday season,” he said.
Multipacks will get plenty of promotion in November and December. Duracell’s bonus pack, which includes a toy-size screwdriver for opening difficult toy battery doors, will be back on the market this year. The mini screwdriver bonus, which includes both a straight edge and Phillips head design, has been very popular with consumers.
This year, Duracell is adding another tool—a gift opener that allows consumers to safely cut through those sturdy clamshell plastic packages. “These are two tools that allow parents to be the hero without any obstacles to get in the way of the fun,” Iverson said. Duracell also will offer point-of-purchase displays designed around the “Power the Joy of Giving” theme.
Energizer will be promoting multipacks as well. Strong contenders this year include the brand’s Ultimate Lithium batteries, which retail for $9.99 for a four pack and are billed as providing up to 30 more minutes of power in toys, and Energizer Advanced Lithium batteries, which retail for $7.99 for a four pack and are positioned as an ideal power source for handheld games.
World rechargeable battery market forecast
|*In billionsSource: SBI Energy|
Assured sees high rise in same-store sales
FRISCO, Texas September same-store sales at Assured Pharmacy increased by 13.5% compared with last year, the specialty pharmacy provider said Thursday.
Assured, which specializes in treating chronic pain, said sales were $1.4 million, or around $66,253 per business day, compared with $1.23 million a year ago.
“We are pleased with our September sales results and our continued patient growth, with 3,064 patients serviced in the month of September,” CEO Robert DelVecchio said. “As these sales figures reflect, we remain on track for increased sales and market share growth, improved earnings at the store level and stronger cash flow.”
Retailers, drug makers can help cut diabetes rate
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The dramatic rise in the prevalence of diabetes over the next several decades is likely to place huge strains on the U.S. healthcare system, costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars every year. It also means the diabetes market will continue to be a hot bed for innovation for decades to come.
(THE NEWS: Diabetes prevalence among Americans may increase to 33%, CDC study finds. For the full story, click here)
Barring a cure for the disease or a dramatic reversal of current trends, the plague of Type 2 diabetes is likely to get worse and account for numerous hospitalizations, as it already does. According to the government Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, nearly 1-in-5 U.S. hospitalizations in 2008 were related to diabetes, with the greatest concentration in the South.
No individual, company or even government agency can reverse the trend on its own, but many — including retailers — can help. And that will continue to feed a frenzy of activity in this space.
Agrowing number of supermarkets across the country have used various means to promote healthy eating, ranging from easy-to-read nutritional rating systems to in-store nutrition experts and store tours. Meanwhile, pharmacists and retail clinicians, as healthcare providers, can use their expertise to spread awareness as well. Rite Aid stores will offer free Diabetes Solutions Days events Nov. 2 through 4.
Health insurer Anthem Blue Cross has won recognition for a pilot diabetes program, “Bridging Cultural Health Care Gaps: Diabetes,” which seeks to find culturally appropriate ways to communicate about diabetes to African-American and Hispanic members. Anthem conducted the pilot among 4,000 of its members in California and Georgia, and plans to expand the program to other states.
More of these localized types of efforts — borne out of the spirit of the Ashville Project — continue to arise.
And of course, manufacturers continue to lead the innovation, and many are going beyond just products. Novo Nordisk recently released the BlueSheet, a report that promotes awareness and education in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.