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Suppliers take steps to address women’s needs

BY Michael Johnsen

The opportunity within foot care may be even more skewed toward the female shopper than in years past when insoles and devices designed with the woman in mind were first introduced.

The fact is, men and women are in search of satisfying different needs when considering a foot care product purchase. Men are more utilitarian, preferring high-function products that offer extra-cushioning, support and comfort. Women, meanwhile, shop for products that complement not only their feet and their shoes, but also their busy lifestyles, according to Implus Footcare research.

Top 10 foot care product manufacturers

MANUFACTURER (BRAND) SALES* %CHG
Merck Consumer Care (Dr. Scholl’s) $193.5 3.8%
Private label 66.2 6.3
Profoot (Profoot) 17.5 -14.1
Telebrands (Ped egg) 17.4 -70.0
Implus (Airplus) 6.4 -16.7
W.E. Bassett (Trim) 5.0 8.1
Combe (odor-eaters) 4.8 -1.9
Spenco (Spenco) 4.3 -15.0
Sara Lee (kiwi) 3.9 -10.3
Tweezerman (Tweezerman) 3.7 2.5
TOTAL $353.2 -11.5%
*In millionsSource: SymphonyIRI Group for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 8 across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart)

 

Indeed, the women’s business has been healthier than the men’s. It’s a factor driven by the economy as women gravitate toward spa treatments at home.

In an effort to address women’s needs, Implus recently featured its Airplus for Her Shoe Comfort Kit. The company has had success in shoe stores with kits—coupling more than one foot care item together in one SKU. According to executives, it takes the average price point up and gives the consumer an all-in-one shopping opportunity.

Merck Consumer Care recently launched Dr. Scholl’s For Her Fast Flats, a practical solution for women who need a break from uncomfortable footwear. Fast Flats are compact and foldable shoes that fit discreetly in a purse and come with a wristlet for easy storage and portability.

A recent survey conducted by Dr. Scholl’s For Her found that 70% of women admitted to taking their shoes off after a night out because they were so uncomfortable. And 80% of women surveyed said that when their feet hurt, it affected their mood. “Fast Flats are fashionable and affordable, enabling women to be prepared for the many scenarios they face throughout the day without having to worry about shoe discomfort,” stated Jay Morgan, VP research and development for Dr. Scholl’s.

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Giant Eagle awarded for green efforts

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH Giant Eagle has received four awards from the Environmental Protection Agency for its eco-friendly practices and sustainability efforts, the supermarket retailer said.

Giant Eagle was the recipient of the EPA Montreal Protocol award, the GreenChill environmental award, the GreenChill building certification and the EPA Smartway transport partnership perfect performance score.

“Our multiple partnerships with the EPA are a significant piece of our overall sustainability strategy, which also includes our energy management efforts and recycling initiatives,” said Shelly Sponholz, Giant Eagle SVP real estate and development. “We truly believe that our environmental commitment is a vital part to the success of both our communities and our business, as so many of the sustainable projects we undertake produce tangible benefits to each.”

Giant Eagle operates stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland.

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Retailers urge Congress to reject Chinese currency legislation

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. As members of Congress move to try and force China to revalue its currency, the renminbi yuan, retailers are weighing in on the issue.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represents more than 200 retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, asked lawmakers Friday to reject legislation under consideration Friday morning by the House Ways and Means Committee that would pressure China on its currency by imposing tariffs on products imported from there.

 

Alarge share of consumer products sold in the United States are made in China, and in many cases are no longer made in the United States. Thus, placing tariffs on goods imported from China could force retailers to pass the costs onto consumers.

 

 

“Provoking tension with our trading partners doesn’t come without costs, and we should choose our battles carefully, especially given the great amount of uncertainty in markets at this time,” RILA VP international trade Stephanie Lester said. “It makes little sense to enact harmful policies that will spark a bilateral conflict over currency with one of our largest trading partners and fastest-growing markets for American exports, given almost stagnant economic growth.”

 

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