Consumers Turn to Mass First for OTC Drugs, Study Shows

Consumers most frequently pick mass merchandisers over other outlets when it comes to purchasing over-the-counter drugs, according to a study released this week by Kline & Co., a global management consulting and market research firm.

LITTLE FALLS, N.J. — Consumers most frequently pick mass merchandisers over other outlets when it comes to purchasing over-the-counter drugs, according to a study released this week by Kline & Co. here, a global management consulting and market research firm. Data from U.S. Consumers' Perceptions of OTC Drugs 2007 shows that mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart and Target are supplanting supermarkets and drug stores as the preferred venue for consumers of OTCs. In a survey of nearly 1,000 consumers, Kline's study shows this trend across all categories and all types of OTCs. "Mass merchandisers have been stealing share from these other retail channels, and our research shows this is mostly due to the premium pricing of these products," said Laura Mahecha, industry manager of the healthcare practice for Kline's market research division. "When we asked consumers what they were unhappy with or what they would want to change with OTCs, almost all of them said, 'Prices are too high.'” Club stores, dollar stores and Internet stores are also making inroads into consumer preferences, further fueling the decline in market share of food stores and drugstores, Kline reported.

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