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Convenience Store Decisions HBC Category Review, September 2011

 

  1. What is Convenience Valet® offering in the health and beauty category to c-stores (this can include feminine care items, cosmetics, dental care, OTC drugs, condoms, baby care, etc.)? How has CV’s assortment in this category developed over the years?

Convenience Valet® has over 400 items dedicated to servicing the needs of the Convenience Store class of trade. We specialize in providing a broad range of trial sized products within the health & beauty care category. From Advil to Zantac, we have hundreds of over-the-counter medications available including cough, cold, allergy and stomach remedies. Regarding personal care, our product selection covers the full range. Some of our better sellers include items such as condoms, 2 pack Huggies diapers with wipes, hand sanitizers, lip balm, eye care, and travel sized shampoo and hair spray. As well, Convenience Valet® has partnered with key manufacturers to offer GNC vitamins, Emergen-C powder drink mixes, Sheets™ energy strips and Protein To Go shots.

Our assortment has grown over the years based on consumer demand and altered brand preference. We always monitor the retail trends and sales data to ensure we offer the best selling items. We have the broadest selection available today.

2. What do you see as major influences on what happens within this category? (ie. Increase in female shoppers at c-stores, lifestyle issues, etc.)

There are a few trends in the c-store industry that will influence the category. Price point and penny profit seem to be the largest factors when deciding the proper mix of items and sub-segments offered in the HBC category. Since this is a destination category it is important that retailers keep the mix of these sub-segments in mind as they review the section. Not having a sub-segment represented can lend itself to a lost sale for the retailer due to customer dissatisfaction. The more retailers realize that HBC provides the second highest profit within their store, the more they embrace the category overall.

There are a growing number of independent retailers where planogrammed space may not be a priority. We’ve color coded our cards to provide a turn-key way to display our assortment how the consumer shops. For example, all red cards are analgesics and all green cards are cold, sinus & allergy remedies. Finally, more c-stores are offering fresh, healthy food options and are slowly attracting more female consumers. These consumers will more readily reach for profit generating items within the HBC category such as GNC Vitamins, Emergen-C, Sheets™ Energy Strips and Protein To Go protein shots. Protein To Go Protein Shots are attracting new users into the category. The French Vanilla Latte product from Protein To Go tastes similar to a Frappuccino so more women are choosing this high protein shot since it contains no fat and just 1 carbohydrate. Sheets™ Energy Strips are also attracting more people into the category including women through national advertising partnerships with Jersey Shore, The Today Show, Good Morning America and US Weekly.

3. Any changes of note in how c-stores are handling this category, such as increasing or decreasing space, requiring certain types of displays or packaging, etc.?

Space in general has been decreasing and the 4ft offering has now become the standard. Our team creates over 200 custom planograms each year. We utilize IRI c-store specific scan sales data and partner with their wholesaler to provide a true-fact based recommendation on the retailer’s specific assortment. Effective category managers blend syndicated scanned sales data and wholesaler data with their rebate contracts to determine the best

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