A Buyer’s Secret to Buying…SHHHHHH!!!
Since all of my friends know what I do for a living, I do get many questions about how I pick products for London Drugs. What is it that makes me say “Yes” to a Vendor, and then allow them to have their product in London Drugs stores across Western Canada? What is the “trigger”!
Well – I can’t tell you that as that would be telling trade secrets!! That was a “LOL” comment!!
Although I will not go through the strategies, tactics and corporate motivations for buying (BORING!!), I can definitely share the things that I like to look for that can help in making that buying decision.
The things that I look for (in no particular order and not necessarily on every product or even every category):
ð I like to support local when and where possible.
ð I like to support healthy or healthier choices in Food especially.
ð I like buying organic or natural OTC’s (child and adult) and Food.
ð I like Fair Trade or Fairly Traded.
ð I like an “underdog” who has a kool idea or product
ð I like unique or different when I can.
ð I like stuff that can’t be bought everywhere.
When buying, for the most part, a tie “should” go to the local company (big or small). The people that those companies employ could be London Drugs customers, or could potentially be, London Drugs customers. Companies, like London Drugs do owe it to the local suppliers to use them when and where we can; and I believe that should be reciprocated. That is just smart business. Does not always work as products just may not fit the “strategy” at that particular moment, but…..
Given the health issues that our country faces; and the costs of trying to sustain our health care system, it is important that retailers (especially drug stores) should try to offer consumers products that are better for overall health. That is not to say that retailers will not offer what the consumer wants even if it not the healthiest option (I mean what beats a high sodium, oily, wonderfully flavoured and coloured, crispy, chip…I mean a potato is a vege!!). However there is an obligation to offer options for people to choose that can satisfy the indulgence and still be a little less “bad for you”. 100 cal. options or baked instead of fried etc…. This could also include P-Nut free, Gluten Free, etc… Whatever it is, healthy or healthier if possible!
I will try and choose organic, or at least natural, over the alternatives. The National Organic Standards Board Definition of “Organic” is attached. Take a look to better understand what “organic” means. . Retailers and industry need to offer as much of these types of products as possible so that acceptance grows and prices in turn continue to get closer to non-organic alternatives. Price should not be a barrier to entry for anyone. If not organic – at least natural – no artificial stuff in the foods.
When buying the organics, check to see if they have the Fair Trade symbol attached. I like these products as this pretty much ensures that the farmers or crafts people were fairly compensated for their goods and or services. It ensures that child labour was not used and that farms, fields and factories are inspected etc… One example of 1st World countries giving back.
Other symbols to look for, including the Fair Trade Logo, that will help in your buying decision include the following (this is not a complete list – but it is a good start);
These symbols mean that the products are 3rd party certified so they “should” make your purchase safe and easy as companies tend to have less to no influence on acquiring the symbol of…. Remember – you need to be your own best advocate – research on your own and never assume anything!!
The last 3 points are all kinda intertwined. I like stuff that you may not find everywhere. It is more fun to buy for me and more fun for the London Drugs consumers. Whether it is a different cookie or coffee, or a product that you would just not expect to find in a drug store (does that not sound like London Drugs in a nutshell!!); I like the “different” where I can! Examples include; Marley Coffee, Miscela D’Oro Espresso, Actiprotect Masks, Canadian Themed Breathe Right, Natracare, gDiapers etc…..
That is a very quick and succinct lists of things that I would look at when I am trying to buy for the stores. Not at exclusive list and not always 100% followed – but we do try!
It’s all about having fun!!!
Now that you know what I like, you just never know, I may see you on the other side of the desk soon!!