Convenience stores which offer a reduced range and higher value products will maintain growth in the personal care against pharmacy and discounters, says Ansell’s marketing manager, Austin Chesterfield.

Mr Chesterfield told C&I Week convenience retailers need to compete on ‘shoppabilty’, with pharmacy, mainly Chemist Warehouse, taking most of the growth from convenience.

“It’s difficult for P&C to compete [with pharmacy] because they are different channels and they’re different shoppers but we are seeing that the Chemist Warehouse-type model is pulling consumers from all across the market.

“Retailers need to have a look at how they can improve the shopping experience and make it easier for consumers in their channel.

“The Chemist Warehouse model is price driven so for convenience to compete with that they need to compete in terms of shoppabilty, which is a reduced range and high value products. This will maintain growth within the P&C channel as a strategy to compete against discounters,” Mr Chesterfield said.

One convenience chain which has the “winning formula”, according to Mr Chesterfield, is Coles Express.

“Coles Express are one of the few that are getting currently in P&C and they’re doing it by focusing on core range. They’re stocking popular, high value products, and not making it difficult for consumers.

“This is something that other retailers in the category could look to because it’s certainly working for them, whereas if you look across P&C in total it’s flat as a channel and slightly down. Coles Express seem to have the winning formula.”

New products in development for 2017 amid solid full year results performance

There are new products in development for both Ansell and SKYN, the company’s leading non-latex condom brand, however, NPDs won’t reach the Australian market until earlier 2017.

Mr Chesterfield says there are expansions in the lubricant ranges. Within the SKYN brand there are two new lubricants; Max Performance, a silicon-based lubricant and the Natural Feel water-based lubricant. The two are also slated to receive packaging upgrades.

“We launched them as a bottle but we’re going to upgrade them into a retail box which will make them stand out more on the shelf and help consumers find those products. That will be hitting the market from October/November. In terms of lifestyle brand we’re launching an extension of the Lifestyle Silky Smooth brand, that’s always be available in 100g that’s now becoming available in 200g.”

In its full year results for 2016 Ansell’s performed well with revenue growing in constant currency by 8.2 per cent and EBIT 41 per cent.

The company’s sexual wellness business achieved revenue growth of 8.2 per cent and EBIT 41 per cent. The SKYN brand grew 12 per cent, while the company’s natural rubber latex brands also performed well with 10 per cent growth

Questions loom over future of sexual wellness division

Last month question were raised over the future of Ansell’s sexual wellness business after the company announced it had appointed Goldman Sachs to assist in a “review of options” for the division.

In a statement to C&I Week in August, Ansell’s director of sales and marketing, Nicole Hillier, said Ansell’s strategic review of its business operations includes the potential divestiture of the sexual wellness business.

“Ansell is focused on categories that complement and build upon its world-leading hand protection capabilities. A potential sale of the Sexual Wellness business would enable the company to focus on enhancing our positions in the Industrial and Medical business with value-enhancing acquisitions,” Ms Hiller said.

“Ansell has taken this approach as we believe there is a better opportunity for the sexual wellness business going forward, rather than possible trade-offs between the B2C [business to consumer] and B2B [business to business] areas of our business.”

“The process has commenced to evaluate options. Although it is difficult to predict timelines, there is a focus on completing this review in a timely manner. In the meantime the sexual wellness division will continue to run its business as usual.”

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