The well-being of shoppers was paramount this year as supermarket pharmacies, clinics, and updated HBC and GM sections were largely considered health care destinations by retailers and consumers.
Medicare Part D and Medicaid cuts had pharmacies toiling to run efficiently while finding fresh ways to attract customers. One approach, the $4 generic prescription program originated by Wal-Mart Stores, spurred supermarket pharmacies to offer programs of equal value.
Also touting value, retail health care clinics appeared in supermarkets all over the country.
Meanwhile, the Combat Methamphetamine Act pushed cough-and-cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counter and brought replacement ingredient, phenylephrine, to the forefront of HBC.
Other standout HBC products included more urbane male deodorant sprays and shaving systems.
In GM, the “Seasonal Best Practices: A Plan for Seasonal Merchandising” study, released in May by the Educational Foundation of GMDC, Colorado Springs, found that 31% of shoppers surveyed say they spend a greater portion of their disposable income on seasonal products than they did five years ago.
“By developing coordinated departmental plans, retailers can create a unique niche in a highly competitive environment,” said consultant Gerald Friedler, Boston, who worked with Jon Hauptman, vice president of Willard Bishop, Barrington, Ill., to research the study.
DVD rental reappeared as stores signed on for DVD rental kiosks. Strong sell-through promotions also took hold, helping supermarkets attract customers and even provide a pick-me-up to those on their way out of the in-store clinic.