So how is the category performing now… and do you still need to stock these products on your shelves? The short answers are ‘very well’ and ‘yes, you definitely do’.
The Household Cleaning category is worth £822m and it comprises bleach and toilet cleaners (£248m), general household cleaners (£274m) and specialist cleaning (£300m).
Overall sales are down 10% year on year. In a different situation that might be cause for concern, but the wider context is important. Sales are still significantly higher than they were before the pandemic. The pandemic heightened people’s awareness of how viruses and bacteria can be spread, and many people’s day-to-day cleaning habits have changed for the long term.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest declines we are seeing now are in the categories that saw the biggest growth during the pandemic, with sales now settling naturally at a lower level, but still higher than ‘normal’. General household cleaning products, including cleaning sprays, all-purpose cleaners and floor cleaners, have dropped 16.5% year on year. Specialist cleaners, which crucially includes disinfectants alongside a range of other products including window cleaner, oven cleaner and furniture polish, declined by 9.9%. Bleach and toilet cleaners, which saw the smallest incremental gains during the pandemic, also shows the lowest rate of decline at just 3.0%.
Another important factor in household cleaning is brand loyalty. With the outbreak of the pandemic, shoppers suddenly became highly engaged in a category that they’d previously bought on autopilot. Shoppers put their trust in the leading brands because they are seen as the experts whose products could be counted upon to get the job done, first time, every time. That brand loyalty has stuck – whilst shoppers are trading down to own-label products in lots of categories, they are sticking with brands much more readily in household cleaning.
So… the key message here is that household cleaning is a big, important category, and by stocking the right range and merchandising it well, you can drive sales in your store. The safest way to make sure you have the right products is to stick with the big brands – they have higher price points but shoppers trust them to do the job, and the higher price puts more cash in your till. Own-label or tertiary brands are important in many areas too, particularly bleach and multipurpose cleaning, but brands are the place to start.
The size of your range will depend on the size and type of your store, but here are some key pointers:
- Stock Flash and Dettol cleaning wipes
- Stock Flash, Dettol and Cif general household cleaning sprays (multipurpose, kitchen, bathroom and ‘with bleach’).
- Stock Mr Muscle specialist cleaning sprays (window cleaner and shower spray), as well as Mr Muscle general cleaning sprays if you have a large store
- Stock Mr Muscle oven cleaner
- Stock Mr Muscle drain unblocker
- Stock Domestos bleach, plus an own-label option if you have space, and stock Harpic and Duck toilet cleaners.
- Stock a range of disinfectants, despite the fact sales are lower than during the pandemic. People are still using them more than before. Dettol and Zoflora are the leading brands
- Most stores should stock furniture polish – either Mr Sheen or Pledge
- Stock limescale removers (Viakal) and descaler
- Larger and more specialist stores can stock a range of more specific specialist cleaners, including mould and mildew remover, stainless steel cleaner, and barbeque cleaner (perhaps just in spring/summer in smaller stores)
If you’re a DCS customer, we can offer you bespoke advice on how you can grow your sales by stocking and merchandising the right range. Just contact your DCS account manager.