By: Rachel Gignac | June 16, 2023
Tech accessories, wellness products and more trends in the category
Looking beyond the data, retailers as well as suppliers agree on certain trends, strategies and seasonal opportunities in the general merchandise category. Read on to find out what they are from experts at Pilot Co., Parkland USA and more.
Switch Into Summer Mode
With more travel and outdoor activities starting up with the changing of the seasons, Pilot focuses on products that go hand-in-hand with what people are doing.
Sunglasses, sunscreen, umbrellas and other outdoor-related items perform well as people start to venture outdoors after winter, says Reising.
With so many products to keep track of, “it’s important for retailers to make sure they have a program supported by field service representatives to keep the right styles and products in stock to meet consumer demand,” says Hayley Fry, senior director of marketing at Lil’ Drug Store Products.
Reps visit stores at regular intervals to organize and clean up displays, check in on product assortments and place orders for low inventory items for each individual store based on what is selling well, Reising says.
Having secondary, temporary displays is essential for keeping popular items in stock during their peak season and raising awareness among consumers that the products are available, says Reising.
“Sunglasses, for example, can have their permanent racks, as well as temporary displays on the counter during the summer months,” he says. “This is also a great vehicle for trendier styles. We are launching a temporary display with the trendy, retro ‘90s-style glasses that are popular with younger consumers this summer.”
Parkland utilizes spinner racks for “those in-and-out items that change seasonally,” Sullenger says.
General merchandise supply has had “huge improvements in international shipping compared to the past few years,” says Fry. “Supply continues to be a concern, but manufacturers everywhere are finally starting to catch up. Over the counter drug manufacturers have invested in a more robust supply chain, and we see a much more positive outlook in the second half of 2023.”
“Having secondary, temporary displays is essential for keeping popular items in stock during their peak season.”
Work on Wellness
Consumers are becoming increasingly proactive about their health, says Fry, of Lil’ Drug Store Products, but wellness products are being underserved in the convenience channel.
Lil’ Drug Store Products has excitement toward Olly—a gummy vitamin brand that aims to help with the mental health struggles of young people.
“We’re working with them to bring on-the-go sized packs of their top products to c-store, with supplements for sleep, stress and immunity in convenient sizes and c-store friendly price points,” Fry says.
Similarly, Sullenger has seen growth in supplements for energy, rather than a pure vitamin supplement.