Supermarkets are being urged to spice up the way they display condoms by abandoning traditional point of sale locations in favour of more ‘disruptive’ new positions.
Billy Boy, Germany’s number one condom brand, has called on retailers to place the contraceptives alongside toiletry items, near self-service checkouts and at the end of aisles in a bid to break taboos and fight rising STI levels.
The recommendation comes after the Health Protection Agency last month warned of a 25% rise in new cases of gonorrhoea in 2011, with the disease developing resistance to antibiotics in some instances.
Chris Clarke, new business development manager at manufacturer Mapa Spontex, said retailers had a responsibility to help the HPA fight the problem and told The Grocer new positioning would help break down taboos and remove embarrassment. “If you walk down the aisles of your local supermarket, you eventually find condoms, usually sandwiched between problem solvers such as anti-smoking products and athlete’s foot treatments. Few customers want to spend time in the aisle,” he said.
“Research has shown 43% of women would buy condoms if they were merchandised alongside female hygiene products as people will browse and take more time. Guys tend to make impulse purchases, but at the moment they have to search. If condoms are at the end of an aisle they can just grab them.”
Billy Boy is already promoting condoms in clip strips alongside its own energy drinks in Germany - associating the two with “night time stamina” - after a Billy Boy energy drink featuring a condom attached to the lid was well received by German retailers.
A BRC spokeswoman said: “It is a matter for individual stores to decide where products are placed, but you also have to weigh up whether repositioning could make products more difficult for customers to locate if they’re used to finding them in a different area of the store.”