Analysis

When it comes to selling winter remedies, there are two main strategies to choose from. 

Either sell them competitively against the multiples, or make the most of the extra margin that can be achieved due to the distress nature of the purchase.

The retailers below favour the latter. And why shouldn’t they? Consumers are happy to pay for the convenience for having these much-needed items on their doorstep when they need them the most. That said, the sample of 5,000 stores compared to Booker’s RRP show a closer story.  

Independents can also stand out by offering different formats. For example, when it comes to Lemsip Max Cold & Flu Powder, multiples tend to offer packs of 10, whereas convenience stores can stay competitive with packs of five.

Talk to your customers about their needs during this cold and flu season and stock a winning range to care for your community. 

Profit checker

Price checker

DESCRIPTIONAVERAGEBOOKER RRPSMALL CORNER SHOP IN RESIDENTIAL AREA OF PLYMOUTHPOST OFFICE AND SHOP IN MAIN STREET OF SOUTHERN SCOTTISH VILLAGESMALL LOCAL STORE IN MID WALES VILLAGELOCAL NEWSAGENT IN HGH STREET OF SMALL NORTH YORKSHIRE VILLAGECAMBRIDEGESHIRE VILLAGE STORELARGE C-STORE IN SUBURBAN BIRMINGHAM
CALPOL SUGAR FREE SUSPENSION LIQUID 100ML£4.11£4.25£4.25£4.10£3.60£4.99£3.49
CALPOL SIX PLUS BOTTLE 80ML£4.12£4.25£4.25£4.10£3.60£4.99£3.99
NUROFEN EXPRESS CAPULETS 250MG£3.60£3.39£3.39£3.39£3.50£3.89£3.49
HAPPY SHOPPER IBUPROFEN TABLETS 200MG£0.88£0.82£0.80£0.69£1.75£0.79£1.19
HAPPY SHOPPER PARACETAMOL TABLETS 16S£0.79£0.69£0.65£0.60£1.10£1.10£0.60
LEMSIP COLD & FLU MAXIMUM STRENGTH POWDER 5 SACHETS£3.97£3.99£3.99£3.99£3.50£4.49
NUROFEN TABLETS 12S£2.69£2.69£2.69£2.75£3.19£2.42
STREPSILS HONEY & LEMON 16S£3.19£2.99£2.99£2.99£2.89£3.49£3.19
COVONIA CHESTY COUGH MIXTURE 150ML£4.23£4.75£3.79£3.79£3.95£3.99£5.95£3.79
LEMSIP MAXIMUM STRENGTH COLD AND FLU CAPSULES 8S£3.13£2.89£3.09£2.99£3.00£3.49
LEMSIP COLD & FLU ORIGINAL HOT LEMON POWDERS 5S£2.82£2.59£2.49£2.99£2.35£2.59
RENNIE PEPPERMINT 24S£2.44£2.35£2.35£2.35£2.45£2.50£2.29

Supermarkets 

* from a sample of 5,000 stores

**Own-label equivalent

Drive your profits

Ralph Patel Avatar

Ralph Patel

The Look-In

Location: Banstead, Surrey

Size: 450sq ft

Type: village Top Tip Don’t be afraid of pricing slightly above RRP as people are generally happy to pay a little more We tend to price branded medicines above the RRP by 25p, which works well. We don’t want to overinflate prices and put people off, as winter medicine is a category where people aren’t likely to price compare. But they want a quick solution to get better and are happy to pay a little more, rather than look around different stores for the cheapest. This is particularly true of kids’ medicines, such as Calpol. In terms of bestsellers, Lemsip Cold & Flu Tablets are quite popular, as are the sachets. This is followed by non-branded paracetamol, non-branded ibuprofen and then branded ibuprofen.

Vic Grewal Avatar

Vic Grewal

Budgens

Location: Thames Ditton, Surrey

Size: 900sq ft

Type: village Top Tip If you don’t have much competition in your area, experiment with prices In this cold weather, our bestseller is Lemsip in tablets and sachets formats, and we’re currently going through one case per day. This is because we don’t have anything else near us, apart from a Boots, which closes much earlier, and there are no pharmacies in the area. As a result, we can afford to price slightly above the RRP, roughly by 10p to 15p. People also tend to go for branded over non-branded, but that’s also down to our demographic, being based in an affluent area. We dedicate four one-metre shelves to medicines – it’s an important category for the business.

Adrian Rodda Avatar

Adrian Rodda

AR News

Location: Harrogate, Yorkshire

Size: 600sq ft

Type: Town centre Top Tip If there is a flu epidemic going around, make sure to premium site bestsellers We sell winter medicines at premium prices, typically going above the RRP. This is because we’re based in the town centre and most of our shoppers are affluent. Out of town, products are a bit cheaper, but the town centre is a premium location. However, we’re cheaper than the Boots near us. We stock things like paracetamol, and stick with branded options that are market leaders. Blackcurrant Soothers is a bestseller, and has always been. Since Mars Wrigley Confectionery changed the packaging of Tunes and downsized the drops, sales have declined for us.

Kam Nijjar Avatar

Kam Nijjar

Spar Meriden

Location: Coventry

Size: 1,000sq ft

Type: Village Top Tip Try and keep a wide selection of branded medicines that are bestsellers We price medicines just above the RRP and shoppers don’t mind paying a little extra – it’s a category people need there and then, and won’t compare prices. We keep everything behind the counter on five shelves, so they can easily see it and know we stock a wide range. Apart from paracetamol and ibuprofen, we only stock branded items as they are the most popular. This time of year, sales peak, and Lemsip has always been a bestseller for us in satchets. This is followed by Lempsip tablets and Beechams capsules. Lemsip has always been a strong brand for us in this category.