It’s an ambitious motto: “We beat everyone’s prices.” But if Chemist Warehouse’s dizzying trajectory over the last five years is any indication, they’re not exaggerating. And not only are they beating prices, they’re beating the competition good and proper. So who’s being hit hardest by this retailer’s rise? The latest results from Roy Morgan Research suggest that Amcal should be concerned.
In the five years to March 2013, the proportion of Australians aged 14+ who shop at Chemist Warehouse in an average four-week period has more than doubled from 10% to 21%. Compare this to Amcal’s flagging fortunes: from 13% to 9% of the population over the same period.
Chemist Warehouse’s growing popularity hasn’t had such a profound impact on other well-known pharmacies and chemists. Retailers such as Chemmart, Guardian, My Chemist, Priceline and Terry White have experienced more gradual declines over the same period of time. Discount Drug Stores is the only other chain to have gained slightly in popularity.
Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Apr 2008 – Mar 2013, average annual sample =19,490 (Note: Amcal includes Amcal Max)
Geoffrey Smith, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“For many years Amcal was Australia’s leading pharmacy group but that title is now firmly held by Chemist Warehouse.
“Pharmacists continue to rank highly in Roy Morgan’s annual survey measuring the honesty and ethics of 30 professions (coming second only to doctors). While the reputation of pharmacists isn’t in question, the role of the pharmacy has evolved. There’s increasingly less focus on prescriptions and more on categories such as vitamins and cosmetics. These growth categories are well suited to self-service and online retailing.
“A glance at the Amcal and Chemist Warehouse websites highlights a clear retail focus at Chemist Warehouse (Father’s Day fragrances and free shipping for purchases over $30) and a more traditional health focus at Amcal with links to Health Management, Weight Management and the Amcal Health Club.
“As pharmacy groups compete to retain and attract customers, understanding the changing needs of consumers and how they like to shop has never been more critical.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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