Acosta Group: Pharmacy Chains Gain Traction With Shoppers for Non-Drug Items

Shoppers are gravitating towards drug chains for everyday items because of the convenient, fast shopping experience, according to Acosta Group.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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drug store shopping

Not just for picking up prescriptions, drug store retailers are increasingly becoming one-stop-shops for consumers, according to a new report from Acosta Group. Products within personal care, household needs and grocery are in shoppers' physical and digital carts as much as items from drug and pharmacy items.

According to Acosta Group’s research, drug stores are favored over grocery stores, mass retailers and online for pharmacy and medical needs (64%), providing an easy, convenient experience (59%) and delivering a fast trip experience (53%). The expanded shopping interest within the channel provides opportunities for retailers to expand their private label assortments.

"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 of Consumer Insights and Trends at Acosta Group.

At brick-and-mortar drug stores, 70% of consumers shop the pharmacy area for non-prescription needs, and 69% shop for groceries, personal care and household items. More than half (57%) of shoppers noted the convenience of the channel, and 51% noted strong promotions and sales.

“Retailers will benefit from ensuring adequate staffing to maintain shoppers' preference for the channel's ‘quick trip’ format,” said Acosta Group. “In addition, ensuring a broad assortment, especially across HBC, and avoiding out-of-stocks will drive sales for non-pharmacy needs like grocery and personal care.”

Online shoppers purchased non-prescription items at a smaller, but still significant rate (61%), and more than half (55%) ordered prescriptions for pick-up or delivery.  38% of online shoppers noted good promotions and sales and 30% noted the convenience of the shopping experience.

Acosta Group's Drug Store Channel Shopper Insights Study was conducted from Feb. 14-23, 2023, with 1,134 primary household shoppers ages 18+ that are part of the company's proprietary Shopper Community.