Meet customer needs with a well planned first aid assortment

by Tara Kaifesh, category analyst, part of Monthly Retailer Category Tips

Adjust to the increased demand for products designed to keep customers healthy and safe.

  • Like other categories, first aid has space constraints. Two manufacturers are updating their packaging to have smaller footprints which frees up space for new items and subcategories that are growing. Johnson & Johnson is changing their Neosporin® brand to flexible packaging that can be merchandised horizontally or vertically. HRA Pharma, the makers of Mederma®, are updating their graphics and changing their packaging to a vertical orientation. As you receive these products in their new packaging, remember to place them behind older stock so you can sell it through.
  • Due to COVID-19, wound washes & cleansers and protective gloves were the two subcategories that showed the most growth over the last year. As a result, you will see an increase in space dedicated to these types of products in your updated planogram assortment. Additionally, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRi), there was a large sales spike within the first aid treatments segment (defined as first aid ointments/antiseptics, anti-itch treatments, insect first aid products, and smelling salts) last March and it has not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Consumers have realized the importance of having these items on hand now and for the foreseeable future, and you should capture these sales by staying well stocked on these items. To accomplish this, use directional and at-shelf signs to bring these items to your customers’ attention and drive sales and profits.
  • Private Label is the number one brand — 23% of category sales — in first aid, and private label alternatives can be found in every subcategory. In this category, consumers are willing to buy a value priced alternative to branded items, so it should be a priority to keep an ample stock of private label products because they meet the needs of your customers who may be going through a challenging time. These items also provide a higher profit margin for your store. Keep these profitable products on shelf to avoid missing out on meeting consumer demand and sales.