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Blurring the Lines: More Spending at Drug Stores for Non-Rx Items

Channel’s growth reflects high marks for convenience and quick- stop shopping.




PHOTO: Oleksandra Polishchuk/iStock
PHOTO: Oleksandra Polishchuk/iStock

Drug store shoppers are putting more personal care, household needs and grocery products in their physical and digital carts, a new, proprietary “Drug Store Channel Shopper Insights Study” from Acosta Group has found.

With channel growth credited to consumers’ focus on health and wellness during the pandemic, drug stores have continued to drive traffic. According to shoppers, drug stores are favored over grocery stores, mass retailers and online for pharmacy and medical needs (64 percent), providing an easy, convenient experience (59 percent) and delivering a fast trip experience (53 percent).

“We heard repeatedly from drug store shoppers that convenient location, discounted pricing and one-stop shopping are appealing drivers in choosing drug stores over other retail options,” said Kathy Risch, SVP, Consumer Insights and Trends at Acosta Group.

Today, brick-and-mortar stores account for a majority of sales in the drug store channel, with one in three shoppers living less than a mile from a drug store and most belonging to the retailers’ loyalty programs (with a smaller percentage using the digital app).

Three categories represent the leading in-store purchases:

  • 71 percent of shoppers pick up prescriptions
  • 70 percent shop the pharmacy area for non-prescription needs
  • 69 percent shop for groceries, personal needs or other needs for themselves or their families, with candy, snacks and household items such as hair
  • care, body care and paper products, as top buys.

Click here for more from the survey.


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