Consumer electronic accessories are a big business, and drug stores increasingly are grabbing more share. In 2011, mobile phone accessories sales totaled $1.24 billion, up 10% from 2010, according to NPD Group.
“Accessories are very inexpensive, and they have a large base of users,” said Stephen Baker, NPD VP and senior industry analyst for consumer technology. “Every customer that’s coming into a drug store has a need for screen protectors, ear buds, headphones or cases. So there’s a lot of opportunity to sell products that generally retail for under $20.”
Gary Rep, VP sales and marketing for FiFo Wireless, said more than 96% of Americans have cell phones, and the average consumer spends $69 or more on cell phone accessories. FiFo created a floor-stand spinner rack that brings together the most popular cell phone products — most retailing for $11.99 — in a turnkey display that takes up 1 sq. ft. of floor space.
Bluetooth accessories generally exceed the $11.99 price point, but consumers, especially in business areas, are willing to spend on products that have become a necessity.
The accessories segment offers steep margins. Mobile phone accessories, ear buds and headphones are some of the fastest-growing segments of the category. “There’s been a real rebirth in the headphone category. The growth [is in] very high-end products that bear the name of rappers. The category has become a fashion statement,” said Alan Wolf, senior editor at Twice magazine.