By David Gill
Recent visits by HFN to several locations of the major drug-store chains revealed both similarities and differences in their displays of hair-care appliances.
The similarities between CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens involve the amount of space they devote to hair dryers, straighteners, stylers, curling irons and compact setters. Each of the six stores HFN visited devoted in the neighborhood of nine to 12 running feet to these products. The visits were made to two locations of each chain in northern New Jersey.
The shelf displays are also nearly identical in each store. These items can be found at the end of an aisle, with one shelf of merchandise on top, one on the bottom and large middle areas with merchandise hanging on peg-board fixtures. CVS does have a fourth shelf at its locations, covering half the running feet.
One other similarity is the brands on display. The two hair-care giants, Conair and Helen of Troy, dominate the merchandise offerings. Conair’s signature Infiniti by Conair brand can be found on dryers and styling products. The Revlon brand of Helen of Troy also has a major presence, and Bed Head by Tigi also can be found. Other brands are present, but not in as big a way.
The key differences between the three chains are in merchandising approach and adjacencies. The CVS locations present these products as part of an entire beauty area, with hair-care products covering an entire aisle and part of an adjacent aisle.
This means that CVS shoppers in these locations have the ability to take care of all of their hair-care needs through a short trip down one aisle. Also to be found in these sections are shampoos, hair conditioners, hair-coloring products, hair bands, combs, brushes and even wiglets in a variety of colors. Around the corners of the sections at both locations, shoppers can also see to their other beauty-products needs because that’s where the stores situate their cosmetics areas.
The two Walgreens locations also attempt to give shoppers the convenience of picking out all of their hair-care products at once. Each store devotes one entire aisle to hair care, next to an aisle of beauty products.
Both the CVS and Walgreens stores also provide signage to help shoppers find their way to the hair-care sections. The CVS stores place their product signs within the aisle, on a rod that extends from the top shelf. Walgreens hangs its signage from the ceiling.
The Rite Aid presentations differ at each of the two locations HFN visited. While the displays have the same shelf and peg-board structure as the CVS and Walgreens locations, the adjacencies do not make the same effort to give shoppers the opportunity to pile all of whatever hair-care products they needed from one short trip.
The product adjacencies are inconsistent at the two Rite Aid stores. At one, the hair-care appliances are on the same aisle as men’s hair trimmers, garment steamers, moisturizing creams and lip glosses. At the other, feminine hygiene products and diapers are the closest adjacencies at hand. Neither Rite Aid store has signage to help the shopper locate the hair products.