Future is bright for foot care as boomers begin turning 50.
Although dollar volume in the segment declined a bit last year, down 2.2%, industry observers feel that when sales rebound, chain drag stores will be the major beneficiaries.
"We believe that drug chains are the natural places for consumers to shop for foot care products," says a spokesman for American Drug Stores. "Most people don't think twice about where to go when they need foot care products - they go directly to a drug store."
It is imperative that drug chains stock the leading brands, notes Steve LaMonte, vice president of foot care at Schering-Plough HealthCare Products Inc., and eliminate products with identical benefits. He also says that applying category management techniques vigorously pays off.
Schering-Plough's Dr. Scholl's line continues to dominate the foot care device category, with the top six brands in terms of dollar sales. In the past year the company has enhanced its offerings with such items as gel insoles, Air-Pillo premium leather insoles for men, advanced pain relief callus removers and a gold-plated toenail scissor.
Although the Dr. Scholl's name has become virtually synonymous with foot care, other companies are slowly but surely making inroads. "It's all about having a choice," says Howard Smith, president of Dr. Fabricant's Foot Health Products Inc. "Customers want it, and retailers seem more than ready to respond."
Since acquiring the Dr. Fabricant's line last year Smith has redesigned product packaging to make it easier for customers to find the items they need. Such products as Corn Master pads, Callus Control pads, Fung-O-Mist fungicidal deodorant spray and Wart-Ease liquid medication offer relief for specific problems.
Best-selling foot care devices(*) BY DOLLAR SALES Market Dollar sales Brand Manufacturer share (add 000) Dr. Scholl's Schering-Plough 41.7% $102,345 Air-PIllo Schering-Plough 8.8% 21,567 Foam Ease Schering-Plough 8.6% 21,107 Flexo Schering-Plough 5.2% 12,747 Workday Schering-Plough 3.2% 7,751 Profoot Care Profoot Care 2.6% 6,479 Smooth Touch Schering-Plough 2.6% 6,276 Zino Schering-Plough 2.3% 5,712 Odor Eaters Combe 2.0% 4,910 BY UNIT SALES Market Unit sales Brand Manufacturer share (add 000) Dr. Scholl's Schering-Plough 33.2% 25,487 Air-Pillo Schering-Plough 15.6% 11,985 Foam Ease Schering-Plough 11.3% 8,686 Profoot Care Profoot Care 2.8% 2,114 Zino Schering-Plough 2.6% 2,008 Workday Schering-Plough 2.2% 1,699 Smooth Touch Schering-Plough 2.2% 1,675 Odor Eaters Combe 2.0% 1,557 Flexo Schering-Plough 1.6% 1,205 * For the 52 weeks through November 3, 1996. Private label products account for a 5.5% dollar share and a 13.2% unit share. Source: Information Resources Inc.
The firm also offers a brochure entitled Feet Hurt? Step Into Dr. Fabricant's Office which explains the products, provides money-saving coupons and offers a toll-free telephone number for assistance.
Profoot Care Inc. offers retailers state-of-the-art database marketing. "It's just part of our commitment to category management and to the chains that carry our products" notes vice president of sales and marketing John Vayianos. "It's a strong tool not only for analysis of market potential, but also for promotions."
The company recently launched Apricot & Loofah foot scrub, which is said to be as easy to use and effective as pumice but without the odor. Profoot Care has also introduced ToeBeds, a comfort device for the entire front of the foot that also offers corn and callus protection.
Pedifix Inc. is another supplier striving to enhance its competitive position. "We are one of the three or four small players nipping at the heels of Dr. Scholl's," company president Christopher Case says. "We have products it doesn't have - niche products with higher margins."
The firm has developed Pump-Pals, an insole specially developed for women's fashion shoes, which retails for about $7. "We encourage consumers to trade up to higher-price, high-performance products," notes Case.
E. Fougera & Co. is marketing Tolnaftate, a generic version of Schering-Plough's Tinactin, and Miconazole, a generic equivalent of Johnson & Johnson's Micatin antifungal cream. Kevin Shell, the supplier's senior vice president, suggests that retailers market foot care creams and ointments in different areas of the store to provide more opportunities to sell the high-margin items.
Other companies challenging Schering-Plough's dominance include Implus Corp., which markets branded insole products used in a variety of private label programs, and Freeman Cosmetic Corp., which offers the Barefoot collection. "We believe cosmetic foot care will be a minimum $20 million segment this year alone," says chief executive officer Larry Freeman.
Best-selling foot medications(*) BY DOLLAR SALES Market Dollar sales Brand Manufacturer share (add 000) Lotrimin Schering-Plough 21.1% $51,392 Tinactin Schering-Plough 15.0% 36,612 Desenex Ciba-Geigy 13.6% 33,094 Dr. Scholl's Schering-Plough 12.4% 30,249 Micatin Ortho-McNeil 9.8% 23,423 Odor Eaters Combe 4.5% 11,018 Johnson's Combe 2.5% 6,069 Barefoot Freeman Cosmetic 2.1% 5,211 BY UNIT SALES Market Unit sales Brand Manufacturer share (add 000) Lotrimin Schering-Plough 14.5% 7,268 Dr. Scholl's Schering-Plough 15.1% 7,589 Tinactin Schering-Plough 12.7% 6,357 Desenex Ciba-Geigy 12.2% 6,122 Micatin Ortho-McNeil 8.3% 4,169 Odor Eaters Combe 5.2% 2,598 Barefoot Freeman Cosmetic 4.7% 2,357 Johnson's Combe 4.1% 2,073 * For the 52 week through November 3, 1996. Private label products account for a 9.2% dollar share and an 11% unit share. Source: Information Resources Inc. Foot care 1996 1995 1994 Trade class share share share Chain drug stores 35% 35% 35% Discount stores 29% 26% 24% Food/drug combination stores 19% 18% 17% Deep-discount drug stores 7% 8% 9% Supermarkets 6% 9% 10% Independent drug stores 4% 4% 5% Source: Racher Press research.
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|Title Annotation:||Annual O-T-C Drug Report|
|Publication:||Chain Drug Review|
|Date:||Jan 6, 1997|
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