PHILADELPHIA -- Glazier Supermarkets here has expanded its vitamin and supplement assortment, including a 4-foot section of sports and power-energy enhancements.
At the ShopRite unit, which opened last month on Aramingo Avenue in the Port Richmond section, some 400 stockkeeping units are merchandised on two 20-foot-long vitamin gondolas, which are separated by a wide aisle in the pharmacy department. "The extended vitamin line appeals to a whole new and emerging market," explained William Glazier, president of the four-store retailer. Glazier plans to open two new stores later this year, one in the city and another at a suburban section. Other stores will be retrofit with the expanded vitamins, based on the first store's performance. The retailer had "whole health in mind during the planning of the pharmacy and extending the vitamin category. Our goal is to stand up to any of our major competition," Glazier said.
While some chains opt to merchandise vitamins in a health or natural-food setting, Glazier maintains the pharmacy is the most strategic location and conveys a drug-store look. "There is also much advice sought about vitamins. Merchandising vitamins in the pharmacy addresses that consultation issue," he stressed.
The larger vitamin section has been placed at new ShopRites opened in the past six months. "They are doing very well," said Michael Patterson, a merchandising specialist at food broker The Ferolie Group, Montvale, N.J.
Patterson, who resets departments for Wakefern Food Corp., the Elizabeth, N.J.-based purchasing division of the ShopRite co-op, said the larger supplemental mix lets ShopRite members compete with health and fitness food retailers, drug chains and vitamin stores.
"The whole vitamin category has exploded as whole health continues to grow," Patterson said. Vitamin sales at the 10 to 15 ShopRite retailers with the larger sets are ahead about 3% to 4%.
Merchandised in the pharmacy department, the vitamin set contains a comprehensive assortment of national brands and private label. Pricing in the expanded sets begins at $1.59 for nutritional bars and goes up to $53 for more esoteric supplements. ShotRite is devoting space to strength-enhancing supplements, used for body-building. It is a growing segment, said Patterson.
Ethnic health and beauty care also is proving to be a strong customer draw for the store. It contains 6 feet of about 60 Hispanic remedies. An adjoining 6 feet is devoted to hair care.
John Slevenski, health and beauty care department manager at Glazier's ShopRite, said the Hispanic HBC section represents a cross-section of personal care needs, and is sourced by an outside supplier. Products include children's cough suppressants, vitamins and shampoos, skin preparations, and other hair care items.
The Hispanic items are priced from 89 cents for Seprod's Castille beauty soap with olive oil, to $3.19 for Moyra Concha Naca collagen cream, and top out at $23.39 for Madre Tierra Diabetrol dietary supplement.