The supermarket channel again emerges as the clear winner in sales volume of feminine napkins, though sales have been flat or falling for several years now. Conversely, drug stores seem to be picking up more business with each year, accompanied by growing volume. For example, supermarket sales of sanitary napkins and tampons dropped 2.3% for the year covered, while drug store sales rose 1.5%, on top of increased volume.
Overall, the combined food/drug/mass category saw virtually flat sales of $1.5 billion.
One potential explanation for the growth in the drug channel lies with other product categories where more drug operators are carving out a niche — makeup and skin care, for example. Female consumers who might be visiting a drug store for such products could be more mindful of purchasing items like tampons and napkins if they are promoted.