Why Compression Hosiery May Be Right For You
Compression stockings sales continue to grow (sales are expected to reach $4.4 billion by 2024). It's a category that chains shy away from or put little or no effort in trying to sell; they are more than happy just to sell the basic women's 8-15 mmHg mild compression socks. Thanks to the availability of new styles and textures, the customer base for compression hosiery is growing by leaps and bounds to patients with a simple edema diagnosis, expectant mothers, travelers, seniors, beauticians, doctors, nurses... just about anyone who is on their feet for any length of time.
Stockings can offer a 40 to 60 percent profit margin. To be successful, you need at least one or two certified fitters (certification and training is sometimes available from hosiery vendors), a fitting room, 4 feet of merchandising space (preferably on a wall), and one or two leg mannequins. (Note: Not all compression stocking sales require fitting; casual, low-compression knee-high hosiery "grab and go" products are seeing a surge in popularity thanks to colorful and stylish new designs.) Spend some time detailing local physicians on what you have to offer.
Here is a tip from successful pharmacy owner and certified hosiery fitter Jack Dunn of Jasper Drugs: "Keep a measuring tape in your pocket; nothing slows down a sale more than running around looking for tape." Compression hosiery is not for everyone, but it could be right for your store.
(P.S. – We're devoting an entire educational program on this important topic at the NCPA Annual Convention in October. Hear from Jack and another successful store owner about how they were able to generate profits for their pharmacies with this niche.)
— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing
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