Walking the HBC Tightrope

Mining category's potential during tough times is a high-margin balancing act.

Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

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For a category that supplies only 1.3% of in-store sales and just 2.4% of gross-margin dollars, according to the NACS State of the Industry Survey of 2009 Data, health and beauty care (HBC) sure seems high-maintenance. Where else in a c-store must a retailer grapple with more than 100 SKUs from more than 30 manufacturers that span 20 subcategories—all within 4 feet of space?

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