DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc., which has long offered single-dose blister packs of the most popular, national brand over-the-counter (OTC) medications, has entered the private-label drug business with its own 7-Select-branded, nonprescription medicines, which the convenience store retailer said offer savings of up to 85% per pill or ounce for equal to or better quality.
Participating stores carry 7-Select OTC remedies in five major categories:
- Pain relief
- Gastro-intestinal upset
- Sleep aids
Click here to view the full list of more than 30 medications.
"With recent changes in healthcare, an aging population and the transition from prescription to the OTC status of some popular medicines, more people are looking for ways to self-treat minor ailments," said Rebecca Frechette, 7-Eleven senior vice president of merchandising.
"Just like when our customers are hungry or thirsty, if they come to our stores feeling ill, they have an immediate need they want fixed fast," she said. "With the new 7-Select high-quality alternatives to popular OTC drugs, we can offer them relief from their ailment with great products at value prices."
Regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), private-label OTC drugs must meet or exceed the same efficacy guidelines and standards of their national-brand counterparts, including product strength, dosing directions and package labeling.
The retailer has partnered with Perrigo, the largest generic medication supplier in the United States, to create its assortment.
Most 7-Eleven stores will continue to carry popular national brands in single-dose and larger packages alongside its 7-Select options. Some stores may choose to carry only the new value-priced, private-brand children's pain, cold and allergy remedies.
7-Eleven is one of the first convenience retailers to carry its own extensive line of private-brand OTC medicines--up to 34 varieties--with more planned for the future, it said.
"As popular prescription drugs transition to over the counter, we will refine and add to our OTC selection if it makes sense to include in our selection," Frechette said. "OTC medication is a $30 billion business and, in some categories, private-brands account for more than half of these sales. More people are becoming accustomed to choosing private brand OTC drugs, and as our 7-Select brand is gaining recognition, this seemed a natural extension for us.
"We are trying to create convenient solution centers for our customers," Frechette said. "That means carrying tissues and eye drops next to allergy medicines, lip balms and Vitamin C with cold and flu remedies, or hand sanitizer, topical medicated sprays and elastic bandages next to pain relief."
7-Eleven introduced products sold under the 7-Select banner in 2004, and today its stores carry up to 300 different items under its private brand.
Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates franchises or licenses more than 10,400 7-Eleven convenience stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 54,400 7-Eleven c-stores in 16 countries. During 2013, 7-Eleven c-stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.5 billion.