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Walmart tops among retailers in personal care share

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SHELTON, Conn. — Walmart has the largest retail share in the $40 billion personal care market, but CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens are leading the way in driving deals for consumers, according to TABS Analytics.

Walmart holds a 19.4% share of personal care purchases, followed by traditional supermarkets (such as Kroger Co. and Publix Super Markets Inc.) at 16.6% and Target Corp. at 12.1%, the 2017 TABS Personal Care Study found. CVS, Walgreens and dollar stores combined account for 24.7% of personal care purchases.

Yet, CVS and Walgreens have helped make rewards programs consumers’ preferred vehicle for getting deals on personal care items, TABS noted. Rewards programs edge out circulars, 32% versus 30%, as a way to get deals in personal care products — the first time in nine similar TABS studies that loyalty programs outpaced circulars as a preferred deal tactic. That data correlates with CVS and Walgreens offering rewards card programs and drawing high levels of heavy deal shoppers, TABS said.

Walmart is underdeveloped among heavy deal buyers, while CVS, Walgreens and dollar stores are overdeveloped, according to the study. Heavy deal buyers migrate to CVS, Walgreens and dollar retailers for more deals, such as circulars and loyalty programs not available at Walmart, TABS said.

The online channel accounts for just 3.1% of personal care purchases, or about $1.2 billion of the personal care market.

“Walmart, traditional food stores and Target are the clear winners in the personal care market, with almost 50% of all estimated purchases,” stated Kurt Jetta, founder and chief executive officer of TABS. “Unlike what we see in beauty, where online sales is a key driver, online sales in personal care products is relatively unimportant, coming in at just 3.1% of market share.”

For the study, TABS surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 to 75 about which personal care products they purchase, where they buy those items, and how much and how often they make those purchases. The study, conducted last month, covered the hair care, deodorant, personal wash, mouthwash, toothpaste, feminine care and adult incontinence categories.

Of consumers who shop at dollar stores, 44% said they buy personal care value brands. Target’s share of personal care purchases is dominated by Millennials and high-income consumers, but TABS noted that the discount store giant is underdeveloped in the largest group of consumers: adults ages 35 to 44, who account for 37% of all buyers.

Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com account for 82% of online personal care transactions in the $1.2 billion dollar e-commerce market, according to TABS. However, online buyers of personal care products represent just 3.1% of all purchases, whereas online purchases of beauty products account for 9% of all transactions. More than half of consumers polled don’t buy any personal care products online.

Other key findings in the 2017 TABS Personal Care Study include the following:

• Generation X (ages 35 to 44) led all age groups in heavy buying of personal care products at 37%, with Millennials (ages 18 to 34) coming in second at 24%.

• 33% of Hispanics said they’re heavy purchasers of personal care products.

• 8% of consumers buy organic personal care products. But among heavy personal care buyers, 16% purchase organic products.

• Personal care consumption peaks among consumers in the $60,000 to $74,000 income range, with 26% being heavy users. As income goes up, consumption goes down for all incomes above $75,000.


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