Pricewatch: 7 September, 2018: OTC medicines

Analysis

In line with the distress nature of most purchases in the OTC medicine category, our price analysis of Rennie Peppermint 24s shows that the majority of retailers surveyed charge £2.49 – 14p above the RRP of £2.35. This holds true regardless of whether the shop is in a town, city or rural area. 

However, with supermarkets offering competitive pricing on branded and non-branded medicine products, our Profit Checker graph tells a different story. 37.6% of retailers choose to stick with Booker’s RRP of £2.35. The next popular price point is £2.49, with 11.7% of retailers charging this.

Profit checker

PRICE Price distribution %

Price checker

PRODUCT AVERAGE PRICE BOOKER RRP SMALL LOCAL SHOP IN SOMERSET COUNTRY TOWN C STORE ON EDGE OF CENTRAL DUNDEE NORTH YORKSHIRE HIGH STREET VILLAGE POST OFFICE AND SHOP NORTH LONDON HIGH STREET POST OFFICE AND SHOP C STORE IN RESIDENDIAL SUBNURB OF NEWCASTLE LARGE C STORE IN RESIDENTIAL AREA OF LARGE HAMSHIRE TOWN
Galpharm Ibuprofen Tablets 16s £0.89 £0.59 £0.79 £1.19 £0.65 £1.49 £1.19 £0.99
Happy Shopper Paracetamol Tablets 16s £0.79 £0.69 £0.58 - £0.69 - £0.99 £0.99
Calpol Sugar Free Suspension Liquid 100ml £4.10 £4.25 £3.59 £4.19 £4.09 £3.49 £3.99 £4.49
Imodium Capsules 6s £3.84 £3.79 - £3.99 £3.60 - £3.99 £3.89
Nurofen Tablets 12s £2.70 £2.69 - £2.39 - £2.49 - £2.99
Nurofen Express Caplets 12s £3.61 £3.49 £3.30 £3.59 £3.39 £3.49 £3.49 £3.69
Calpol Six Plus 80ml £4.12 £4.25 £3.99 £4.19 £3.66 £3.49 £3.99 -
Rennie Peppermint 24s £2.41 £2.35 £2.29 £2.69 £2.35 £2.49 £2.49 £2.49
Happy Shopper Paracetamol Capsules 16s £1.13 £1.15 £0.99 £1.29 £1.15 - £1.25 -
Rennie Spearmint 24s £2.42 £2.35 £2.29 £2.69 £2.59 £2.99 £2.49 -
Happy Shopper Ibuprofen Tablets 16s £0.90 £0.65 - - - - £1.19 £0.99
Piriteze One A Day Hayfever Tablets 7s £4.52 £4.99 £4.99 - £4.99 £4.49 - -
Data supplied by
Data supplied by

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How we drive our profit

Kay Patel Avatar

Kay Patel

Best-one Global Food & Wine

Location: Stratford, London

Size: 1,200sq ft

Type: city

Top Tip
Bring medicines out on to the shop floor and stock a good core range of branded and non-branded products
A few years ago, we worked with two healthcare companies to acquire a stand and brought OTC medicines out onto the shop floor. It was a risk, because we’re in a high-footfall area, but it doubled our sales, and the margins of around 40% cover us for the increase in theft. The fact that people can browse and don’t have to ask for sensitive products such as Imodium has helped boost sales. We stock a good core range, including seasonal medicines for hay fever, and our cold and flu medicines benefit from being included in Best-one promotions.
Anita Nye Avatar

Anita Nye

Premier Eldred Stores

Location: Orpington, Kent

Size: 1,200sq ft

Type: parade

Top Tip
We integrate our medicines with stock on the shop floor rather than keeping them behind the counter
OTC medicines are seasonal for us. In summer, we sell more hay fever and pain relief tablets, and in the winter, it’s more cough medicines. The budget brands do well; we sell Galpharm hay fever tablets at £1.09 and Happy Shopper paracetamol at 69p. Consumers have wised up to the fact that branded and unbranded medicines are exactly the same. We have a chemist nearby, but we capitalise on the fact we open one hour earlier than it does and remain open three hours later. I aim for around 30-35% margins on these products.
Ralph Patel Avatar

Ralph Patel

The Look In

Location: Woodmansterne, Surrey

Size: 400sq ft

Type: village

Top Tip
Keep your range in the eyeline of customers so they can familiarise themselves with your stock and know they can rely on you
We’re a small village shop, so OTC medicines are not going to set the world alight. Having said that, it ticks over for us, making up around 5% of our turnover. We have no competition nearby, so we have a 3m space behind the counter dedicated to a range of medicines, from hay fever tablets to cough medicines. We stock the main brands as well as cheaper non-branded alternatives. Children’s medicines do well for us, as sales mainly come from distress purchases. We benefit from customers knowing that if they run out, we’ll stock a solution.
Vince Malone Avatar

Vince Malone

Tenby Stores & Post Office

Location: Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Size: 900sq ft

Type: Town

Top Tip
Offer branded as well as non-branded products; know your peak selling points and keep products in the eyeline of customers
Our sales of OTC medicines are driven mainly by summer holiday sales. Prescriptions are free in Wales, so many locals won’t pay for medication. Holidaymakers, on the other hand, will come in for Calpol, Imodium or Nurofen. They often prefer to go for brands. We started stocking Anadin four months ago and it outsells the non-branded equivalent by as much as three times. You can never second-guess what people will buy, although Sunday mornings are usually when paracetamol is bought with a Lucozade.

Find out more about RN’s definitive guide to the best-selling products that you need to have on your shelves.

Read more

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