Warman-Freed’s recent identity review showed that the retail space needed a better balance between the beauty and healthcare offerings. A decision was made to expand the selection of healthcare-focused brands within the skincare category, not only to bring in new customers, but also to encourage existing customers to purchase more products.
The team saw a natural opening to introduce pharmacy-specific skincare ranges and assessed a number of brands for their suitability. There were two key requirements for a new brand. First, it must appeal to Warman-Freed’s core customer base, which has an affluent bias and a lower age group than the national average. Second, it needed to complement existing brands, without too much overlap in terms of price point and/or product type.
We used this analysis, together with recommendations from the pharmacy team, to help us decide which new range to introduce.
‘Introducing new ranges is more than a commercial decision for our team. We need to feel confident that our staff will be equipped to discuss the product benefits and to make appropriate recommendations to our customers,’ explains Farah Ali, general manager of Warman-Freed Pharmacy.
‘Healthcare sales reps often focus on the commercial benefits of stocking a product, leaving pharmacy managers to excite their staff, but in this instance we worked with a really supportive sales rep who delivered truly engaging training that put our staff in the customers’ shoes and increased their understanding of and interaction with the product. All parties were motivated to make the range a success.’
Fostering a two-way partnership with the sales representative empowered Warman-Freed staff to become skincare experts, who not only understand the range of products well, but also the conditions that they are each suitable for.
The new skincare range, which was positioned in a prominent position in store and supported by eye-catching POS materials, resulted in a 59 per cent growth in the skincare category in just under five months. A bespoke window display was then introduced, which saw sales double during this period (+129 per cent), highlighting the pertinent role in-store marketing has to play in ensuring commercial success.
‘Adding new products doesn’t always equal category growth,’ explains Joanna Mills, research specialist at Warman-Freed Pharmacy. ‘To ensure long-term success you must be conscious of how a new product compares with your existing brands and your rationale for shaking things up.
‘Understanding how current brands compare to each other and identifying areas of overlap and differentiation really influenced our decision making,’ concludes Ms Mills. ‘Our staff have become skincare experts, and we have absolute confidence that all products in the category complement and strengthen Warman- Freed’s retail offering.’