SCRANTON, S.C. -- Reflecting the growing conviction among retailers that cough-cold is no longer a seasonal category, W. Lee Flowers & Co. here is rolling out a year-round, checkout-aisle cough drop/vitamin display to many of the Southeastern IGAs it supplies.
The signed "Halls Cough Center," a double-sided rack on rollers with cough drops on one side and vitamins on the other, has already been installed in 12 stores, said Vern Moore, director of health and beauty care and general merchandise at W. Lee Flowers.
"A couple of dozen" stores will have the display by the end of November, he added, with additional stores of adequate size picking it up as part of regular resettings. "Any store that can take it, that's what we're going to do."
Moore estimated that, of the more than 125 IGAs Flowers owns or supplies in Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas, 80% have space for the display.
The front of the Halls Cough Center features six shelves that contain 13 stockkeeping units of 50-count Nature's Balance vitamins from Vitamin Classics, Calabasas, Calif. The vitamins retail for 99 cents and bring a profit margin "probably in the area of 20% to 25%," said Moore.
The back is a pegboard on which are hung 12 SKUs of Halls brand cough drops and three SKUs of Parade private-label cough drops. A 30-count bag of Halls retails for $1.39 and carries a 25% margin, Moore said; the Parade equivalent is 99 cents, with a 40% margin.
According to Moore, the display has not been in stores long enough to judge customer awareness or sales.
"We thought it was a nice tie-in, and when you talk about cough-and-cold anymore, it's a year-round thing. I don't foresee [the display] coming down."
Furnished by Halls, a division of Warner-Lambert Co., Morris Plains, N.J., the racks will double as lane stoppers when registers close, he added.