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The holidays are a profitable time for retailers, but so is the period after New Year’s, when everyone flocks back to stores in search of post-party remedies. The Nielsen Company issued a short report profiling this activity, noting that U.S. consumers will purchase more than $61 million on stop-smoking aids and more than $46 million on diet solutions in the month of January.

Anti-smoking and smoking alternative products generated 8.7% of annual dollar sales in January last year, an above-average share; while complete nutritional diet aids generated 9.9% of their annual dollar sales during the same period.

The advice to supermarkets selling wellness solutions is to hit shoppers now, and hit them hard, because sales drop off significantly once the month passes. According to Nielsen researchers, anti-smoking products declined steadily from more than $61 million in sales in January to $49 million in September. After a high at nearly $47 million in January, sales of nutritional diet aids dropped more than 14% to $40 million in February.

What are you doing right now to promote your stores and your pharmacies as a destination? To be sure, consumers know what’s coming. They’re already thinking of the Day of Reckoning. So shove aside the holiday stuff and make room for the new personal improvement products people will be looking for. Make a sharp, comprehensive merchandising strategy your New Year’s resolution. Your shoppers might not thank you for it, but they'll be grateful.

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