MALVERN, Pa. -- Acme Markets here is rolling out an enlarged, prominently placed vitamin and nutritional supplement section to its new superstores.
The approach is to take the vitamin and supplement assortments out of their regular in-aisle spot in the health and beauty care department and to give them their own distinctive display area within a larger, combination pharmacy-HBC department.
The concept was put into effect in Acme's new Burlington Township, N.J., store, which opened Nov. 14, and is slated for three more stores opening this month, according to Ed Sprague, vice president of communications.
"What we're trying to do is have a complete drug store within the store. It's built as a unit," he said. "We need that -- and that variety in general nutrition -- to make the store complete."
In the Burlington store, the pharmacy-HBC department is located near the front entrance and takes up 7,500 square feet of the unit's total 66,000 square feet.
The vitamin and nutritional supplement section is 84 linear feet, Sprague said, and comprises 1,400 stockkeeping units, from traditional one-a-day vitamins to "meal in a can" products like Mead Johnson's Boost.
"We've increased our variety, which has also increased sales," Sprague said.
Acme is not only devoting space to the new vitamin and supplement sections, but also extra attention to the design of the displays, Sprague noted.
"It's very attractive -- the products are displayed in wooden cases, which make it look like an old-fashioned apothecary."
The cases are broken up into 4-foot segments, with certain key items -- vitamin A and vitamin C, for example -- each getting 4 feet.
In addition to the emphasis Acme has given the section within the pharmacy-HBC department, the vitamins and supplements are now in a high-traffic area relative to the store as a whole.
"[The section] used to be three aisles from where it is now," said Sprague. "But the advantage of where it is now is dairy leads right into it, so everyone sees it."
The first Acme superstore to implement the souped-up vitamin and supplement assortment was the Exton, Pa., unit, which opened June 4.
Sprague said that, prior to devising the makeup of the section, Acme had relied on research provided by Sav-On and Osco Drug, which, along with Acme, are divisions of American Stores Co., Salt Lake City.