Title:
Arrangement of absorbent hygiene products
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Arranging or displaying feminine hygiene products in a retail store such that they are disposed in a location typically associated with products such as traditional beauty care products. This may help change the consumer's view of feminine hygiene products as simply hygiene devices. The arrangement and/or display may also provide a more discreet means to purchase feminine hygiene products that can result in a reduction of the embarrassment or emotional discomfort that may be experienced by a consumer when purchasing feminine hygiene products.



Inventors:
Weirich, David Michael (West Chester, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/509478
Publication Date:
03/06/2008
Filing Date:
08/24/2006
Assignee:
The Procter & Gamble Company
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/00
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Primary Examiner:
SHAPIRO, JEFFREY ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A method of displaying feminine hygiene products in a retail store, the method comprising: displaying traditional beauty care products in a first portion of a retail store, wherein the majority of products displayed in the first portion are traditional beauty care products; and displaying one or more feminine hygiene products proximate the traditional beauty care products in the first portion of the retail store.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the retail store comprises a second portion spatially separated from the first portion, and wherein the majority of products displayed in the second portion are feminine hygiene products.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the first and second portions are different aisles, portions of different aisles or different portions of the same aisle.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the feminine hygiene products are sanitary napkins, tampons, panty liners and/or adult incontinence products.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more feminine hygiene products are part of an array of products from the same product lineup.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising packaging one or more feminine hygiene products together with one or more traditional beauty care products.

7. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of including beauty tip information with the feminine hygiene products.

8. The method of claim 1, further comprising including feminine hygiene product information with the traditional beauty care products.

9. A display in a retail store, the display comprising one or more feminine hygiene products positioned proximate one or more traditional beauty care products, the display being located in a first portion of the retail store, wherein the majority of products displayed in the first portion are traditional beauty care products.

10. The display of claim 9, wherein the retail store further comprises a second portion spatially separated from the first portion, wherein the majority of products displayed in the second portion are feminine hygiene products.

11. The display of claim 9, wherein the feminine hygiene products are sanitary napkins, tampons, panty liners and/or adult incontinence products.

12. The display of claim 9, wherein the one or more feminine hygiene products are part of an array of products from the same product lineup.

13. The display of claim 10, wherein the first and second portions are different aisles, portions of different aisles or different portions of the same aisle.

14. The display of claim 9, wherein the sanitary napkin packages and the traditional beauty care products are packaged together in the same package.

15. The display of claim 9, wherein the feminine hygiene product include beauty tip information.

16. The display of claim 9, wherein the traditional beauty care products include feminine hygiene product information.

17. An arrangement of consumer products, the arrangement comprising: a. one or more traditional beauty care products displayed in a first portion of a retail store, wherein the majority of products displayed in the first portion include traditional beauty care products; and b. one or more feminine hygiene products located proximate the one or more traditional beauty care products in the first portion of the retail store.

18. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the retail store comprises a second portion spatially separated from the first portion, and wherein the majority of products displayed in the second portion are feminine hygiene products.

19. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the feminine hygiene products are sanitary napkins, tampons, panty liners and/or adult incontinence products.

20. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the one or more feminine hygiene products are part of an array of products from the same product lineup.

21. The arrangement of claim 18, wherein the first and second portions are different aisles, portions of different aisles or different portions of the same aisle.

22. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the feminine hygiene products and the traditional beauty care products are packaged together in the same package.

23. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the feminine hygiene products include beauty tip information.

24. The arrangement of claim 17, wherein the traditional beauty care products include feminine hygiene product information.

25. A method of displaying feminine hygiene products in a retail store, the method comprising: displaying one or more feminine hygiene products in a first portion of the retail store; and displaying clothing in the first portion of the retail store, wherein the majority of products displayed in the first portion are clothing products.

26. (canceled)

27. The method of claim 25, wherein the clothing is lingerie, undergarments and/or swimwear.

28. The method of claim 25, wherein the retail store includes a second portion and wherein the first and second portions are different aisles, portions of different aisles or different portions of the same aisle.

29. The method of claim 25, wherein the feminine hygiene products are sanitary napkins, tampons, panty liners and/or adult incontinence products.

30. The method of claim 25, wherein the one or more feminine hygiene products are part of an array of products from the same product lineup.

31. The method of claim 25, further comprising packaging one or more feminine hygiene products together with one or more clothing products.

32. (canceled)

33. The method of claim 25, further comprising including feminine hygiene product information with the clothing products.

34. The method of claim 25 further including displaying one or more feminine hygiene products in a second portion of the retail store, wherein the majority of products displayed in the second portion are feminine hygiene products.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of disposable absorbent articles, such as, for example, feminine hygiene articles including, but not limited to sanitary napkins, panty liners, tampons and adult incontinence articles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Disposable absorbent articles for absorbing and handling body exudates, such as menses and/or urine, are widely known in the art. Examples of such absorbent articles include feminine hygiene articles, such as, for example, sanitary napkins, panty liners, tampons and adult incontinence products. It is commonly known that these products often come in a variety of shapes and sizes and may provide varying benefits to a user depending on the particular product purchased. Due to the wide variety of disposable absorbent products available to a consumer, manufacturers of such products often go to great lengths to communicate to a consumer why one particular product is better than another, or alternatively, that a particular product includes a benefit it previously did not have. In the vast majority of cases the manufacturer is attempting to distinguish the manufacturer's product from the product or products of one or more competitors. However, no matter how much the manufacturer may attempt to distinguish a particular product from that of the competitor, it is typical that all such products of the same general type are located in the same portion or region of a retail environment, and thus, the manufacturer's product may be viewed by a consumer as being substantially same as all the other products.

Most consumer goods, such as, for example, disposable absorbent articles, are sold in retail stores. Consumer goods are often arranged within retail stores according to particular plans, often, according to the type of goods being sold. For example, various automotive products may be displayed together in one portion of the store, while feminine hygiene products are displayed together in another portion of the store. In many cases, retail stores arrange products in aisles, that is, goods of a particular type may be displayed together in a single aisle or two or more aisles located adjacent each other. In some cases, the goods may be further separated from goods that are of a different type. For example, one aisle of a store may comprise predominantly automotive products, while another aisle may comprise predominantly feminine hygiene products.

One problem with arranging a retail store in aisles is that when a customer enters or is present in a particular aisle, others who see the customer in that aisle are typically able to ascertain what type of good the customer is likely to purchase, or at least consider purchasing. For example, when a woman purchases feminine hygiene products that are isolated to a particular area or section of a retail store, such as an aisle or portion of an aisle, other shoppers may make assumptions as to the purpose for the woman's presence in that particular location of the store. One assumption made by other shoppers may be that a woman who is in an aisle that displays predominantly feminine hygiene products is having or about to have her period. The perception by a female shopper that other customers in the store assume she is having or is about to have her period may cause the shopper to experience a feeling of emotional discomfort or embarrassment. It may even cause a shopper to avoid that particular aisle when the shopper is not intending to purchase such items. This can reduce the time that a particular shopper spends in the feminine care aisle, and thus, reduce the likelihood that the shopper will notice new and/or different products or product features. It can also provide the shopper with a confusing purchasing environment due to the emotional discomfort of being in the particular location and the desire to reduce the time spent in the aisle of location of the store.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a retail environment in which a shopper can experience less embarrassment and/or other undesirable emotions as a result of being present in a particular location of a store. It would also be desirable to provide a retail environment that increases the amount of time and/or the number of times a shopper spends exposed to a particular consumer good, such as a feminine hygiene article. It would also be desirable to provide a purchasing environment wherein the purchaser desires to purchase such articles for reasons other than sheer necessity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In order to provide a solution to the inconveniences set forth above, the present invention provides a method of displaying feminine hygiene products in a retail store. The method comprises the steps of displaying traditional beauty care products in a first portion of a retail store, wherein the majority of products displayed in the first portion are traditional beauty care products; and displaying one or more feminine hygiene products proximate the traditional beauty care products in the first portion of the retail store.

The present invention also provides an arrangement of consumer products. The arrangement comprises one or more traditional beauty care products displayed in a first portion of a retail store, wherein the majority of products displayed in the first portion are traditional beauty care products; and one or more feminine hygiene products located proximate the one or more traditional beauty care products in the first portion of the retail store.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an example of a retail store layout according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows an example of a retail store layout according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows an example of a display of feminine hygiene products located in visual proximity to traditional beauty care products.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Manufacturers of disposable absorbent articles, including, for example tampons, sanitary napkins, panty liners and adult incontinence products, are continuously looking for new ways to increase the sale of their products. It has surprisingly been found that the particular placement of feminine hygiene products in a retail environment may affect sales of the products. It has also been found that by portraying feminine hygiene products as objects that enhance feminine beauty or are otherwise associated with traditional feminine beauty care products, sales of feminine hygiene products may be increased. As used herein, the term “retail environment” is meant to be used interchangeably with retail store, and generally refers to a business or establishment that offers consumer products for sale.

Due to societal feelings about menstruation and incontinence, such topics are generally not discussed publicly, and may even cause feelings of insecurity or embarrassment. For example, a woman may feel embarrassment if she is having her menstrual period or is about to have her period. Further adding to the feelings of self-consciousness that a woman may have during her period is the fact that most feminine hygiene products are typically displayed in a particular area of a store, such as a particular aisle or particular portion of an aisle. Generally, such aisles or portions of aisles are dedicated to or include mostly or only feminine hygiene products.

Because the idea of feminine beauty is firmly entrenched in most cultures, manufacturers of traditional beauty care products, such as lipstick and hair dye, often utilize forms of advertisement portraying the users of their products to be, what many might consider, beautiful people. The goal of the manufacturer is generally to suggest to consumers that they might be just as beautiful if they use the manufacturer's beauty care product. While lipstick and hair dye are listed as examples of traditional beauty care products, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to such items, but may also include other traditional beauty care products. By way of example and not limitation, other traditional beauty products include make-up for eyelashes, eyebrows, nails, lips or for skin in epidermal treatment creams, a foundation, lipstick, eye-shadow, blusher, eyeliner, mascara or nail polish. As used herein the term “make-up” generally refers to a cosmetic product that is used by a person to modify the person's appearance.

It has been found that one way to reduce the embarrassment associated with purchasing feminine hygiene products is to associate them with feminine beauty enhancement. One way to do this is to locate at least some feminine hygiene products in areas of a retail store that are spatially separated from the area of the store where feminine hygiene products are typically located. For example, they may be located in the vicinity of other more typical beauty care products. Additionally, when feminine hygiene products are placed in such areas of a retail store, a user can make a more discreet purchase than if the feminine hygiene products are all located in the same general area, such as a single store aisle where feminine hygiene products are typically sold.

One example of an embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 1 shows a layout of a retail store 1. The retail store 1 may include a plurality of aisles 2. The plurality of aisles 2 may include a variety of retail goods that are displayed in such a way that a consumer is capable of making a relatively convenient purchase of the retail goods. The store 1 may include a feminine hygiene area 3, wherein the majority of products displayed are feminine hygiene products. As used herein, the phrase “majority of products displayed” generally refers to products being displayed such that more than about 50% of the commercially occupied space in a particular area of a store is devoted to the display of the particular product type. This does not include available space that is not dedicated or intended to display product at the present time, but does include space that is currently empty but intended to display product (e.g. a particular product is sold out, but will be restocked). For example, if a particular aisle in a store is 75% full (i.e. 75% of the available shelf space is dedicated or intended to display products at the present time) and more than about 50% of the dedicated space is used to display feminine hygiene products, then the majority of products being displayed in the aisle are feminine hygiene products. The feminine hygiene area 3 may comprise one or more aisles 2 or a first portion 6 of one or more aisles 2.

The store 1 may further include a beauty care area 4, wherein the majority of products displayed are more traditional beauty care products, such as makeup and the like. The beauty care area 4 may comprise one or more aisles 2 or a second portion 7 of one or more aisles 2.

The beauty care area 4 and the feminine hygiene area 3 are typically spatially separated from each other, but need not necessarily be so. In addition to traditional beauty care items, the beauty care area 4 may also include a display 5 of feminine hygiene products, such as, for example sanitary napkins, located in visual proximity thereto. As used herein the term “visual proximity” generally refers to regions or items in a retail store within about 10 meters of one another and that can be viewed from a consumer's location in the retail store by the turning of the consumer's head or by the turning around of the consumer's body. (It should be understood that a “display” of products need not be of any particular type, and may include, for example, a stand-alone display, a display that is joined to or otherwise associated with another element of the store, such as a shelf, or may merely be one or more of the products or packages of the products.) By placing a display 5 of feminine hygiene products in the beauty care area 4, a consumer may feel more comfortable purchasing the feminine hygiene products because the diminished likelihood that other shoppers in the area are making assumptions about the consumer's behavior. As a result, the consumer may be provided with a means of making a more discreet purchase of a feminine hygiene product or products and the consumer may feel less anxiety or embarrassment related to purchasing the feminine hygiene product or products.

In addition to avoiding the feminine hygiene area 3 of a store 1 a consumer may associate the feminine hygiene products displayed in the beauty care area 4 to be of another product type. For example, because the feminine hygiene product display 5 is located in the vicinity of the beauty care products displayed in the beauty care area 4, a consumer may consider the feminine hygiene products to be more akin to a type of beauty care product as opposed to a sanitary or hygiene product. As a result, the consumer may feel that purchasing the feminine hygiene products is no longer solely a matter of physiological need, but is now a choice she can make to enhance her feminine beauty.

Another example of an embodiment of the present invention includes displaying disposable absorbent articles, such as, for example sanitary napkins, panty liners, tampons and adult incontinence products in an area of a store where the majority of products displayed are clothing, such as, for example swimwear or lingerie. By displaying at least some disposable absorbent articles in such an area of the store, consumers may associate a particular absorbent article product with a type of clothing accessory rather than a sanitary or hygienic article. Additionally, the consumer may be provided with an opportunity to make a more discreet purchase than if the consumer were to purchase the absorbent article in the area of the store where such disposable absorbent article products are generally displayed. For example, by displaying at least some tampons in an area of the store where the majority of products displayed are women's swimwear, a consumer may consider tampons to be a type of swimwear accessory item rather than simply a feminine hygiene product. Thus, a consumer may experience fewer and/or less intense undesirable feelings than the consumer might otherwise experience.

Still another example of an embodiment of the present invention that may reduce the feelings of insecurity or embarrassment that might be experienced by a shopper who is purchasing feminine hygiene articles in a retail environment is shown in FIG. 2. FIG. 2 shows a layout of a retail store 101. The retail store 101 includes a plurality of aisles 102 having a horizontal length L. The plurality of aisles 102 may include a variety of retail goods that are displayed such that a shopper is capable of making a relatively convenient purchase of the retail goods. The retail store 101 may also include an aisle 102 that includes a first aisle portion 104, wherein the majority of products displayed are feminine hygiene products. The aisle 102 may further include a second aisle portion 105, wherein the majority of products displayed are more traditional beauty care products, such as make-up and the like. In addition to the traditional beauty care items, the second aisle portion 105 may also include a display of feminine hygiene products 106. By intermingling the feminine hygiene products with the beauty products or placing the feminine hygiene products in the second aisle portion 105 adjacent the traditional beauty products are displayed, a consumer may not feel like other shoppers are making assumptions about the consumer's reason for being in the aisle 102 or that portion of the aisle. As a result, the consumer is provided with a means of making a more discreet purchase of a feminine hygiene product or products and any feelings of anxiety or embarrassment that a consumer may feel related to purchasing the product or products may be reduced.

While the example shown in FIG. 2 includes first aisle portion 104 and second aisle portion 105 located at opposite ends of the aisle 102, it is to be understood that embodiments wherein the first and second aisle portions 104, 105 are located adjacent one another or where the first and second aisle portions 104, 105 overlap or are intermixed are also contemplated by the present invention. One example includes an aisle 102 that includes beauty care products and feminine hygiene products that alternate along the length L of the aisle. Another example is an aisle 102 that includes beauty care products and feminine hygiene products intermixed along the length L of the aisle. The beauty care products and feminine hygiene products are not limited to alternating, overlapping or intermixing in only the horizontal length L of the aisle, but may alternate, overlap or intermix in any suitable direction of the aisle, such as, for example a vertical or diagonal direction or may be placed one or more behind one or more of the other products.

FIG. 3 shows an example of an aisle 301 in a retail store including a display 302 comprising feminine hygiene products in the vicinity of traditional beauty care items 303. The traditional beauty care items 303 may be displayed on a shelf or shelves 304 of the aisle 301. Alternatively, the traditional beauty care items 303 may be displayed in any suitable manner known to those of ordinary skill in the art. While the example shown in FIG. 3 shows the feminine hygiene products 302 to be displayed in relative close proximity to the beauty care products 303, it is to be understood that the present invention also contemplates embodiments wherein the feminine hygiene products 302 are displayed in visual proximity to the beauty care products 303. Additionally, the example shown in FIG. 3 depicts the feminine hygiene product display 302 positioned generally perpendicular to the beauty care products, but it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to such positions, but also contemplates embodiments wherein the display 302 is positioned at angles ranging from about 0° to about 90° relative to the shelf or shelves 304 on which the beauty care products 303 are displayed.

Another example of the present invention is co-marketing feminine hygiene products with traditional beauty care items. For example, certain feminine hygiene items might be packaged together with traditional beauty care items and displayed in an area of a retail store not typically associated with the display of feminine hygiene products. One specific example includes packaging one or more sanitary napkins together with a tube of lipstick and/or a package of cosmetic wipes and displaying the package in an aisle displaying predominantly traditional beauty care products. By packaging the feminine hygiene articles with the traditional beauty care products, not only can a consumer make a more discreet purchase of the item, but may also be more likely to view the feminine hygiene as a traditional beauty care product than if the feminine hygiene product were not packaged with the beauty care product.

Another example of an embodiment of the present invention includes displaying certain disposable absorbent article products, such as panty liners, in the vicinity of a clothing section of a retail store, such as, for example a lingerie section. FIG. 4 shows a retail store aisle 41, wherein the majority of products displayed are lingerie, specifically brassieres 42. Also in the aisle 41 is a display comprising disposable absorbent articles, such as, for example panty liners. By placing feminine hygiene products, such as panty liners, in the lingerie section, for example in proximity of brasseires, a consumer may associate the feminine hygiene products with the concept of feminine beauty or sensuality embodied by lingerie, rather than the more typical concept of feminine hygiene products as being only medicinal or hygienic devices. Thus, the negative feelings that may be associated with a woman having to use feminine hygiene products may be replaced by the positive feelings of a woman augmenting her feminine beauty. The resultant change in outlook from a negative one to a positive one may then increase a woman's desire to purchase the products, or may at least reduce the potential for negative feelings experienced when purchasing panty liners in a typical retail store setup, such as an aisle containing mostly, if not all, feminine hygiene products and/or adult incontinence products.

Additionally, it may be desirable to provide an array of feminine hygiene products that are related to each other, such as, for example a lineup of sanitary napkins, wherein one or more members of the lineup are displayed in a different area of a retail store. One example of such an embodiment is displaying sanitary napkins having a first benefit with the lingerie, displaying sanitary napkins having a second benefit with the makeup, and displaying sanitary napkin having a third benefit with the swimwear. While this example refers to sanitary napkins it is to be understood that other feminine hygiene products, such as tampons and panty liners are also contemplated by the present invention. The array of feminine hygiene products according to the present invention need not necessarily comprise the same type of product, but need only be capable of recognition by a consumer that the products in the array are somehow related, such as, for example feminine hygiene products that share a common commercial marketing strategy. In one example, the array can comprise sanitary napkins displayed with makeup, panty liners or adult incontinence articles displayed with feminine undergarments and tampons displayed with swimwear. In examples of the present invention wherein the array of feminine hygiene articles includes articles that are substantially the same kind of article, such as, for example an array of sanitary napkins, it may be desirable to have articles that provide different benefits, and to display the articles according to the benefit provided. For instance, if the array of products comprises a first kind of sanitary napkin that has a higher absorbent capacity and/or rate than the other sanitary napkins in the array and a second kind of sanitary napkin that provides superior comfort and/or softness than the other sanitary napkins in the array then it may be desirable to display each kind of sanitary napkin in a different area of a retail store. While these examples may refer to specific kinds of feminine hygiene products and specific numbers of different benefits it is to be understood that an array according to the present invention can include any number of the same or different feminine hygiene products that provide any number of similar or different benefits.

Another aspect of the present invention relates to increasing sales of feminine hygiene products by increasing the likelihood that the products will be purchased on impulse, as opposed to only when specifically preplanned. Items such as lipstick, mascara, eyeliner and the like, generally referred to as make-up, are often impulse purchase items. That is, a consumer does not intend to purchase the particular item when entering the store, but decides to make the purchase after somehow encountering the item. The encounter can occur when the consumer is exposed to an advertising means, such as messages over the public announcement system, shelf talkers, hanging displays, promotional displays, flyers and the like, or when the consumer sees the product itself. Because a consumer will not typically peruse the area of a retail store where the feminine hygiene products are located on impulse, the likelihood of the consumer making an impulse purchase of such items is greatly diminished. By displaying or placing feminine hygiene products in other areas of the store, such as an aisle dedicated to the display of traditional beauty items or other items totally unrelated to feminine hygiene, a retailer may increase the likelihood of an impulse purchase of the feminine hygiene products by a consumer.

Still another aspect of the present invention is increasing the likelihood of an impulse purchase of a feminine hygiene item by including beauty related tips with a make-up item. For instance, a package containing lipstick that includes a beauty tip related to combinations of clothing, make-up and panty liner colors and styles for different occasions may cause the consumer to purchase the particular panty liner referred to in the beauty tip on impulse. One specific example includes tips on what color and style of panty liner to wear with a particular piece of swimwear along with an appropriate make-up ensemble. Alternatively, a retailer may also increase the likelihood of an impulse purchase of make-up by including beauty related tips with feminine hygiene products.

The dimensions and values disclosed herein are not to be understood as being strictly limited to the exact numerical values recited. Instead, unless otherwise specified, each such dimension is intended to mean both the recited value and a functionally equivalent range surrounding that value. For example, a dimension disclosed as “40 mm” is intended to mean “about 40 mm”.

All documents cited in the Detailed Description of the Invention are, in relevant part, incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention. To the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this written document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the term in a document incorporated by reference, the meaning or definition assigned to the term in this written document shall govern.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.