Magazine article Drug Topics

Make Time for Baby Care Department

Magazine article Drug Topics

Make Time for Baby Care Department

Article excerpt

Baby care is a promising category for drug retailers in view of the high number of births recently. Some 4.2 million babies were born in 1991; this is the largest number of births since 1961.

Also important for retailers is the fact that parents spend an average of $5,774 on children in their first year, according to D.P. Hamacher & Associates Inc., a management consulting company in Milwaukee.

According to Towne-Oller Associates sales in the baby health and beauty care department of foodand drugstores were up 2, hitting $483.0 million, in the 12 months through November 1992. Drugstores brought in $168.4 million, or 34.9 of the business, in the 12-month period, while food stores captured the lion's share of the market, accounting for 65.1% or $483.0 million.

There are ways to increase sales in drugstores, however. Pharmacies can build customer loyalty in these departments and bring parents into the store by participating in community programs geared to young children, according to Hamacher. Other helpful steps to emphasize pharmacy's role in child care include:

* Handing out poison prevention information at prescription counters.

*Participatingin poison prevention programs in day-care centers, preschool, and elementary schools.

* Giving away pediatric medicine spoons with the store's name on them to parents when they come in to pick up a prescription.

As for new products in the category, Lehn & Fink Co., which manufactures Wet Ones, recently came out with new packaging for its popular disposable washcloths: a flexible, laminated plastic package with pullup label for easy resealing. …

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