Market Insights

Retail Case: Leveraging Distribution Opportunities in General Trade Channels

by Jimmy Ho ¬ 02/14/2017

There is increasing reliance on the General Trade when margins are being squeezed in the Modern Trade. It is to protect the margins and also find new customers. We should not underestimate its potential. For some of the categories in General Trade, they could take up the sales comparable to Modern Trade. Here are some surprising results from a recent nationwide sanitary napkin audit in Hong Kong.

(Nationwide Sanitary Napkin Audit in Hong Kong for 6 major sanitary napkin brands, covering 100 Independent Drug Stores)

• High potential for greater distribution of Sanitary Napkin products in Independent Drug stores – Only 41% of the locations audited sell sanitary napkin products. Significant potential to extend distribution through this channel?


• Despite the dominance of top 2 brands, many locations are willing to stock a range of offerings – opportunities for both further distribution of major brands and for fledgling brands to establish a presence in General Trade Channels.  


• Share of distribution does not always equal market share – While Kotex and Whisper record an almost equal level of store penetration, Kotex dominates in store product facings with almost twice the level of SOVI (Share of Visual Inventory) as Kotex. The top 3 brands account for 85% of all products on display.


• Fewer marketing display of Sanitary Napkin – None of the brands have high presence rate of off shelf promotional displays. Interestingly, Whisper has relatively higher presence rate than Kotex in terms of marketing display regardless the fact that Kotex has significant more facing share than it.


The product display of sanitary napkin at Independent Drug stores is extremely diverse – some of them are neat and tidy, others are very messy. To enhance the brand awareness at store, it is suggested to have brand name and product information printed at all sides. And, most importantly, closely monitor is the key to understand the trend in General Trade for better decision making and brand performance. 

Using the latest retail audit technologies, it’s possible to quickly and easily compare SKU level performance metrics and access backup imagery for any location – all in real time. In a single glance, for any SKU, check; 

  • Stock levels/ OOS status
  • Current and/ or promotional pricing
  • Floor stacking, secondary display
  • …and any other metric of interest

Red Ocean Solutions – Real time Retail Audit and Intelligence from any Location.

Find out more here.