Batteries back after ups and downs

Panasonic argues good display is crucial for battery retailers.

OVER the past year, the total battery market has grown in both volume (up 5%) and value (up 4%), with 576 million batteries being sold, according to Panasonic, quoting TNS.

With overall market value of £256m, the category remains important for retailers.
Alkaline is the largest battery segment with 76% of total value sales.
The discount channel-dominated, entry-level zinc segment accounts for 7%, with rechargeable and specialist accounting for 8% each.
Nearly 70% of UK consumers purchase batteries, buying an average of 31.5 individual cells each year – a slight increase year on year. The market continues to be dominated by sales in the festive period, with numbers peaking on Christmas Eve.
But the team behind giant brand Duracell says it’s trying to change that.
“It has been a good year for Duracell and the batteries category as a whole, with both returning to solid growth after a turbulent few years,” said Menna Zaghloul, Duracell brand manager for P&G. “Our strategy has been centred on getting people into the category and getting Duracell batteries in their hands. We’ve also made a deliberate effort to move Duracell and batteries in general away from just a seasonal uplift around Christmas.”
According to P&G, 40% of batteries are bought on impulse. However, sales can be lost because of poor ranges and displays.
And according to Insites European Research the category can be confusing, with 44% of surveyed shoppers saying they’d found it difficult to find the fixture, and 55% of shoppers finding it difficult to locate the battery they need.
“Batteries of all ranges and sizes should form part of a retailer’s everyday essentials ranges,” said Amit Juneja, sales director at Benross, distributor of Polaroid batteries in Europe.
“These purchases are often not the primary purpose of a customer’s shopping trip, so it’s imperative that the products capture the attention of shoppers.”
Tim Clark, Panasonic’s sales manager in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, also sees simple, effective display as key for retailers.
“Installing a clear, logical planogram and displaying batteries by appliance can help make a shopper’s choice easier,” he said.
“Retailers can also drive sales by making sure they stock the right range to meet customers’ needs, with all five sizes of battery – AA, AAA, C, D and 9V – and by using POS.
“Retailers can maximise their sales with secondary siting in high traffic areas, such as till points or food-to-go areas, while cross-promotions with other categories can also help.”