Rite Aid suncare targets consumers trading down

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Marketing Rite aid

US pharmacy Rite Aid has released its own range of sun care products in the hope of catching consumers looking to trade down.

The Rx Suncare line includes seven protective products with an SPF of 30 or above, all with the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of approval.

Rite Aid has also included some specialized products in the range including one designed for sports people advertising high water resistance and one aimed at protecting children’s skin.

Retailing between $2.49 and $9.99, the range will sit on the pharmacy’s shelves alongside the likes of Coppertone, Aveeno and Neutrogena, which all retail around the ten to fifteen dollar mark.

The company describes the range as: “competitive with national brands or items found at high-end specialty retailers in terms of quality, but priced much lower.”

Private labels look good in recession

Moving into suncare is part of the company’s strategy to increase its private label and exclusive brand offerings, said Rite Aid; and there may be no better time than the present.

Analysts predict that as more expensive brands struggle in the current economic climate, private labels may clean up as consumers are looking for cheaper alternatives.

This is likely to affect the companies operating in the middle market and some, such as L’Oreal, are already responding to the threat with plans to release cheaper products to extend the price points covered by existing ranges.

In addition, private labels stand to gain from their distribution. Upmarket brands sold in department stores may lose out in a recession from a drop in consumer traffic.

Figures from a Citigroup report for the first half of 2008 suggest that private labels account for 11.4 percent of total personal care and household sales in the US, but that market share was growing quicker than in the previous year.

Private labels were estimated to be 21 percent cheaper than their big name alternatives, according to the report.

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