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Competition for seasonal sales heats up

BY Barbara White-Sax

The drug channel could be losing its edge in seasonal sales. GMDC’s recently released “Seasonal Best Practices” report revealed that, according to Nielsen data for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 26, 2013, while drug store seasonal merchandise dollar sales are slightly ahead of supermarkets, the channel’s sales have slipped 16%.

Seasonal dollar sales at the drug channel, according to the report, were down for Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Easter, but were slightly ahead for summer seasonal promotions.

GMDC’s part one of a report on seasonal sales — part two will be released in July 2015  — could serve as a wake-up call for a channel that has traditionally done very well with seasonal merchandise. Other channels are turning up the heat and grabbing share. A panel discussion of several supermarket executives hosted by GMDC revealed that the channel is taking seasonal sales seriously.

In its report, Robin Gutridge, category manager of seasonal, home decor and social expressions at Raley’s said: “We’ve grown our GM seasonal business by 45% over the past three years.  Our CEO, family stakeholders and the SVP over our 119 stores all support GM seasonal.”

Yet drug store retailers willing to make a commitment to seasonal sales can win back consumers with strategic programs that 
are well-executed.

“The better retailers plan, execute and collaborate with suppliers, the better stores perform,” GMDC’s report said. The report said that chains, realizing they can’t be all things to all consumers, must decide what role their stores play in consumers’ holiday shopping and create a strategy that plays to 
those strengths.

When defining a role, the report said, “destination” is “the most aggressive, where shoppers could meet all their needs for a season.” GMDC’s report said that while retailers can’t feasibly aim to be a destination for every season, less intense roles can still be profitable. Roles can be identified as “routine,” where a retailer’s assortment is ample for shoppers already in the store, and “convenience,” where modest, basic merchandise offerings could fill a quick need, the report said.

Some best practices GMDC identified were displaying unique items early to spark impulse purchasing, taking markdowns in a controlled manner, and using category management scorecards and metrics to demonstrate the value of seasonal departments to decision-makers.

The report stressed the importance of a speedy and accurate review of what works and what doesn’t following each season so chains can re-plan rather than start from scratch each time. “The quicker and keener they review and analyze results, the stronger success prospects will be the following year,” the report said of retailer performance. CDMA recommends reviewing within 45 days, “when memories are fresh and energy is high.”

 

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GMDC Showcase: Hot Beauty Products

BY Sierra McCleary-Harris

ORLANDO, Fla. — Suppliers are given the opportunity to showcase their products for retail buyers at the GMDC Health, Beauty and Wellness Marketing Conference. Below, Drug Store News highlights some of the hot beauty products in the showcase this year.

Lip Bang
Launched in March at the Natural Products Expo West, Doctor Lip Bang’s Lip Freak is an all-natural, super moisturizing lip balm made with pure essential oils and beeswax, leaving lips feeling “electric,“ according to the company. Despite the tingling feeling, Lip Freak does not plump lips. With a retail price of $7.99, this kid- and adult-friendly product is for men and women from ages 15 years to 55 years.

The packaging — which features a skull with mustache, circus strong man and cheeky text — was designed to make consumers smile and encourage them to love the skin they’re in.

A portion of all the proceeds from Doctor Lip Bang’s Lip Freak goes to organizations that help homeless children.

 

 SinfulColors
SinfulColors continues to offer on-trend color in a variety of shades, all of which are free from such harsh and now-taboo chemicals as formaldehyde, toluene and DBP. With up to 20 new colors each year and a low price of $1.99, beauty mavens love this wallet-friendly brand.

SinfulColors’ new mobile app allows consumers to match shades to their clothing and accessories, as well as create custom shades and a wish list of desired shades.

Recently, Consumer Reports tested top polish brands and found that Sinful-Colors was a favorite, with polish still looking fresh after seven days.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of Africa
Out of Africa, a beauty brand that contributes 15 cents of each purchase of its natural formulations to help provide education to women and children in West Africa, offers a range of 100%-unrefined shea butter bar soaps.

The Complexion Bar — which is for dry, sensitive and irritated skin — features milk proteins, honey and oats to treat and cleanse skin without stripping it of moisture, according to the company. It is enriched with 20% pure, unrefined shea butter, and helps restore and maintain skin elasticity and tone.

Other bars include Lemon Verbena, Vanilla, Lavender, Apricot Exfoliating, African Black and Unscented.

 

Calgon
Parfums de Coeur, the maker of the Calgon bath and beauty brand, recently updated the iconic line with new scents, beauty bar soap products, revamped packaging and a new ad campaign, as well as a new formula.

Calgon’s ultra-moisturizing body wash is infused with vitamin E, aloe and shea butter to soften, gently cleanse and condition skin, according to the company.

The refreshed package design — now available at major retailers — features bold, bright colors in sleek bottles. Two new scents, Lavender Vanilla and Spring Cherry Blossom, recently were added to the lineup.

 

J.R. Watkins Naturals Apothecary
The J.R. Watkins Naturals Apothecary line of personal care products now offers a range of kits great for use on the go.

The Head to Toe kit includes Aloe and Green Tea Hand and Body Lotion, Lavender Hand and Body Lotion, Lemon Hand Cream, Lavender Body Butter, Peppermint Foot Cream and Natural Beeswax Lip Balm.

The Lotion Devotion kit includes Aloe and Green Tea Hand and Body Lotion, Lavender Hand and Body Lotion, Lemon Cream Hand and Body Lotion, Coconut Hand and Body Lotion and Peppermint Foot Cream.

The On the Go kit includes Lavender Hand and Body Lotion, Lemon Cream Hand and Body Lotion, Aloe and Green Tea Hand Cream and Natural Beeswax Lip Balm.
 

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GMDC video conferencing service forges connections

BY Michael Johnsen

Following Saturday’s lunch at the 44th GMDC Health, Beauty and Wellness Marketing Conference, both Bill Anderson, 2014 GMDC chairman and group VP at H-E-B, and David McConnell, GMDC CEO and president, provided an update around the versatility offered through GMDC*Connect, GMDC’s video conferencing service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David McConnell, GMDC CEO and president, with Bill Anderson, 2014 GMDC chairman and group VP at H-E-B, following lunch on Saturday, May 31

Currently, GMDC members are utilizing about 30,000 minutes per month on the site. GMDC’s goal by the end of the year is to have utilization exceed 100,000 minutes per month. “It’s a way to take [learnings] into your own organization or share with customers important insights [around which] to collaborate to help build the business,” McConnell said.

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