Shoppers with young children want a Children’s Care category

October 11, 2013By Behind the Shelf Blog, Industry Intuition

by Jen Johnston

When I was the mother of a newborn, I appreciated drug chains that had a baby care category. I mean, I really, really appreciated it. And what mother wouldn’t? It’s not particularly easy to shop with a newborn in tow, so having the diapers, shampoo, baby food, and pacifiers in one aisle always made me think wow, this store gets me.

Only now, I am left thinking wow, this store GOT me. But it doesn’t get me anymore. Because now I am the mom of two – a newborn and an almost pre-schooler. Now I am shopping with two kids in tow. And I can still pick up my baby care items in one place which is great, but when it comes to my pre-schooler’s needs, I am left searching specific categories around the store. I can’t even begin to express how frustrating that can be.


Why, oh, why doesn’t a savvy chain store come up with a destination category for children’s care items? Imagine how grateful and how loyal harried parents would be if they could pick up their children’s vitamins, toothpaste, shampoo, pain reliever, cough syrup, and perhaps even a small toy all in the same aisle.

I can hear the chain drug executive saying Jen, that’s a nice sentiment, but don’t we want the mothers traveling around the store for a greater opportunity for add-on purchases? I understand that point, and it is definitely a valid concern. However, a store doesn’t win add-on sales by making their shoppers more frustrated. Moms with young kids in tow, ages ten and younger, are not leisurely browsing the aisles and contributing to incremental sales. That is more likely to happen when the kids are middle school-age and don’t demand as much attention.

For now, my take on the best approach is to tend to the needs of the shopper with young children. Create a robust children’s care category that addresses the primary needs of parents with young children in the same way the baby care category does. Show them that you get their needs and you’ll gain their loyalty so that when their kids do reach middle school age, and they do have more time to leisurely browse, they will browse your aisles and not your competitor’s.