Dmd Keeps Ffp Out of Harm’s Way
Selling dietary supplements has become somewhat of a slippery slope for retailers ever since the red flag went up on over-thecounter medications containing “List One” chemicals—the primary ingredients in methamphetamine. But that’s not a worry for FFP Marketing (Fort Worth, TX), which owns 500 stores in 10 states. It can have confidence selling these lucrative items—which carry margins in excess of 60%—due to its strict adherence to responsible business practices and smart partnerships with companies like DMD Pharmaceuticals.
DMD (www.dmdpharm.com) is a brand leader in over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements. The company has proactively worked to reduce count sizes in the convenience channel while offering safer packaging for products containing ephedrine, which has been proven safe and effective by the FDA as a bronchiodilator for asthma relief. Ephedrine is also considered a List One chemical by the Drug Enforcement Administration, but DMD takes steps to ensure retailers sell it appropriately.
DMD has had a longstanding relationship with FFP, but about three months ago the chain began to reevaluate the HBC category because of concerns about products containing List One chemicals and the criminal activity resulting from large purchases of these items. FFP not only reconsidered whether or not to carry some of these products but also became concerned about pack sizes; carrying 60-count bottles in a convenience store seemed excessive, unsafe and costly. DMD was already one step ahead.
“FFP’s HBC set has undergone quite a bit of change in recent months,” says Noble Zimmerman, director of marketing for FFP. “DMD products are not merchandised as part of that set; rather they’re kept on the back bar and are not accessible to our customers. We didn’t just want to get rid of List One chemical products, we wanted to get rid of the big packages we were carrying and move to convenience-size dosages. That’s where the movement was going; we didn’t want to use our limited space and inventory dollars for bigger sizes.
“One of the key reasons we’ve stayed with DMD is that they’ve been responsible with their packaging and marketing efforts,” Zimmerman adds. “DMD has been at the forefront, keeping our employees educated on making age-appropriate sales of these products. DMD has reduced package sizes and is always proactive to keep our business and these products in a legitimate realm.”
While FFP makes 60%-plus margins on DMD products, FFP wants to remain a responsible retailer by making sure they’re not sold to minors; the repercussions of selling these items in illegal quantities have serious-consequences. Thanks to DMD, FFP and its employees are up to date on the latest legislation surrounding the category.
“We are an expert in this category and we feel the convenience retailer should use our expertise to their advantage,” says Greg Cruse, director of sales and marketing for DMD. “We get weekly updates from attorneys on what laws have been passed. We share that information and provide detailed training materials for store-level employees. We’ll show retailers what DMD can do for them, not only to maintain their profits, but to keep them out of harm’s way.”
DMD provides retailers with displays and merchandisers that accommodate their stores as well as training materials for employees selling the products. The training materials help educate employees about products’ active ingredients, how to make sure they’re making appropriate sales and how to not violate applicable rules. Employees are made aware of the “Two is the Rule” policy, where they cannot sell more than two packages per transaction to the same individual within 24 hours. They’re also instructed to report suspicious activity should someone try to exceed this rule, further protecting the retailer.
“We consider DMD a valuable partner in our marketing efforts for these items,” says Zimmerman. “You won’t find a more responsible, responsive or concerned company about the [convenience store] business environment than DMD. DMD’s move to smaller package sizes keeps our customer base where we want it—people buying these products for personal daily use rather than illegal activities.”