Supermarkets keep fighting for market share with more and more retail formats in the HBC category.
Add Amazon.com on the list, right next to drug stores, convenience stores, mass merchandisers, dollar stores and even housewares stores. All retailers want to get into the HBC game and it is having an impact on sales at supermarkets.
Grocery stores have been losing market share in the HBC world to other outlets for decades. A lethal combination of lower price points, better selection and, of course, the presence of pharmacists has helped drug stores gain a greater percentage of sales in this segment for years.
Other players figured out that carrying HBC items led to more store traffic and, hence, more sales. Slowly, a number of HBC segments started to show up at alternative outlets like c-stores and dollar stores. The more sales increased, the more products were included in the mix at these outlets.
Now Amazon is causing waves in the market. The online retailer has made it clear that HBC is a focus for them and an opportunity to gain more profits.
Still, supermarkets have had some success. As more grocers operate in-store pharmacies—and keep them open longer—some consumers are viewing the food store as a convenient alternative for their HBC needs. To be ultimately successful with the HBC market, retailers need to stay on top of trends and new products in the industry to make sure the right products are on the shelves at the right time.