Charging Ahead


The latest battery category insights offer sales-enhancing clues for retailers.

Despite dips in dollar and unit sales of 2.83 percent and 9.11 percent, respectively, for the 52 weeks ending Oct. 3 in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, excluding Walmart, there's still plenty of life in the $1.5 billion battery category, according to Infoscan Reviews from Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group.

In the $1.1 billion alkaline segment, Duracell Coppertop is the top brand, with $482.6 million in dollar sales and a 43.5 dollar share. Energizer Max, at No. 2, has $330.8 million in dollar sales and a 29.8 dollar share. Perhaps most interestingly, private label brands take the third spot, with $210.2 million in total dollar sales and an 18.9 share. This high placement should further persuade retailers to spotlight private label product in displays and store promotions.

Other brands represented among the most profitable in this segment are Rayovac Maximum, Panasonic Plus, Kodak, Kodak Xtralife, Eveready, Hexburg, Panasonic Digital Power, Panasonic, PerfPower Go Green, Panasonic Evolta and Fuji Enviromax. The inclusion of two environmentally sustainable battery brands in the list suggests another area for retailers to spotlight as a way to draw in green-minded consumers.

For all other batteries, which account for $230 million of the overall category, Energizer comes in first, with $122.8 million in dollar sales and a whopping 53.3 dollar share, followed by Duracell (whose sales are up an impressive 64 percent) and Duracell Ultra, with dollar sales of $49.7 million and $19.2 million, and dollar shares of 21.6 and 8.4, respectively. Private label is No. 5 in this segment, with $5.6 million in dollar sales and a 2.4 dollar share. Other brands selling in the segment are Energizer Ultimate Lithium, Rayovac, Energizer E2 Lithium, Energizer Ultimate, Eveready, Panasonic, Star Struck, Sony, Kodak, Ultimate Cell, Kodak Max, Targus, Duracell MyGrid, Rayovac Ultra Photo, Panasonic Digital Power and Ultralife.

To drill down further, in the realm of nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion and lead acid batteries, which contribute $54.6 million to the overall category, Energizer Recharge is tops, with dollar sales up 16.5 percent to $20.8 million and a dollar share of 38.1, while No. 2, Duracell, experienced a sales dollar surge of 27.2 percent to $18.3 million, giving it a dollar share of 33.46. Private label is again in fifth place, with sales of $2.17 million and a dollar share of 4. The other brands competing in this segment are Energizer, Duracell Power Pix, Rayovac, Energizer E2 Rechargeable, Energizer E2, Phillips, Sony Infolithium, Sony, Moonrays, Power Wheels, AT&T, Nikon, Sony Cycle Energy, Canon, Westinghouse, GE and Energizer Accu.

As a way to encourage more photo-related purchases, camera batteries should, of course, be cross-merchandised with other photo supplies such as paper and ink cartridges. Finally, as regards zinc air batteries, which are good for $56.8 million of the overall category (down 18.5 percent from last year), private label leads the pack, with dollar sales of $14.2 million and a 25 dollar share. Duracell Easytab is the next most popular brand, with dollar sales of $13.1 million and a 23.1 dollar share. Rounding out the top three is Energizer, with dollar sales of $10.5 million, representing a sales increase of 53.9 percent, and an 18.5 dollar share.

The other top brands are Rayovac, Energizer EZ Change, Duracell, Panasonic, Eveready Air Cell, Renata Maratone and Rayovac Loud N Clear. As these batteries are commonly used for hearing aids, placing them near the pharmacy, where the mostly older purchasers of such items may need to pick up additional products relating to health and wellness, sounds like a smart idea for retailers to pursue. PG

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