Blackmores to create bespoke pharmacy products

Blackmores MD David Fenlon

Blackmores is about to delete 18 products from its grocery line and plans to enhance the brand’s presence in pharmacy with bespoke lines, MD David Fenlon told a gathering of pharmacists and pharmacy assistants this week.

Speaking before around 150 guests at Sydney’s Doltone House, Fenlon spoke of the brand’s appreciation for community pharmacy’s support and its three-pronged strategy for the complementary medicines sector.

Blackmores is a trusted brand and we couldn’t have done this without you. To show you that we are serious about supporting pharmacy we are deleting 18 products from the grocery line and will have bespoke products coming into pharmacy,” said Fenlon.

He said Blackmores plans to:

  • Increase purchase frequency—more than 40% of consumers don’t take their vitamins every day. If pharmacists could reduce that number of non-users by 10% the category increase could be worth $116m.
  • Increase repertoire—shoppers want offers and deals as it’s a price driven category. But if pharmacy could offer them value and get them increasing the repertoire of products from buying on average 1.44 products to 1.6 products then that’s worth $85m.
  • Increase loyalty—stop losing shoppers and start to recruit and retain across all segments. Currently 13% of all shoppers are lost each year and in the last 12 months the category has lost over 200,000 shoppers in key conditions such as arthritis. Retaining that 13% is worth $70m.

Fenlon says implementing these three measures alone could see a pharmacy’s bottom line improve by $18,000.

Blackmores says it has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past year researching the vitamin and dietary supplements (VDS) shopper and can tell pharmacists that their main shopper is:

  • female;
  • shopping for other people of all age ranges;
  • with an average basket for the category of $119; and
  • buying 3.6 times a year.

Pharmacy does particularly well too in this sector: 55% shoppers make a purchase in store; for 65% it is a planned purchase; promotions stimulate purchase for 19%; and 31% of shoppers don’t mind paying a little more for the right product in the right size.

However, Fenlon says 41% of shoppers leave the store without buying anything if the product is out of stock.

“My top advice to you is make sure you are not out of stock as a lot of shoppers are very brand loyal and will leave the store without buying anything,” he told guests.

“Many shoppers also find the shelf too confusing with 39% saying there is a need to improve layout and 37% signage.”

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