Energizer Keeps Going, Going, Gone

Pharmacy chain takes batteries off shelves

By Matt Bartosik
|  Thursday, Dec 3, 2009  |  Updated 12:54 PM CDT
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Energizer Keeps Going, Going, Gone

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CVS won't sell the bunny.

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The Energizer Bunny keeps going and going ... but CVS drug stores will soon put a stop to it.

The national CVS Caremark chain will discontinue sales of Energizer's alkaline batteries in early 2010.

According to the company, customers respond better to a single national brand. "We found we can better serve our customers with a simplified assortment," said a CVS spokesperson, reports NACS Online.

Energizer's lithium batteries will still be found on CVS shelves, along with Duracell alkaline batteries and Caremark's private-label batteries.

The decision is part of a growing trend of retailers narrowing the variety of their products, hoping to lower prices and improve margins. Walmart has aggressively cut several brands from its shelves, and Costco recently decided to drop Coca-Cola products in a pricing dispute.

Dropping brand names means retailers can put more emphasis on their own private-label products. When the economy took a tumble, more and more consumers turned to these cheaper, store-branded alternatives, giving retailers a leg up.

But experts warn marketers and retailers not to get too trigger-happy when eliminating well-known brands from their shelves. Shoppers may be more loyal to some brands than they are to the retailer, and the store could find itself losing business.

"Retailers would be shortsighted to let financial pressures decide versus consumer or shopper needs," an unnamed executive told the National Association of Convenience Stores. "Many retailers in Europe tipped too far and paid the price for it in lost shoppers."

So what's more important to you? Brand name or store name? Leave your comments below.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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