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Ear to the ground: How to build up the in-store ear care segment

Can retailers make money from the ear wash segment? According to Marsha Garcia, the vice president of Orange Park, Fla.-based Doctor Easy, the potential is there, providing merchants take the right steps to build sales and profits. DSN talked with Garcia about the company, its products and its future.

Drug Store News: Tell us little bit about Doctor Easy.

Marsha Garcia: Doctor Easy is a family-owned company. Our primary focus has been manufacturing spray ear washers for the medical community for more than 20 years. In fact, my late husband, Dr. Teddy Garcia, invented spray ear wash technology in our busy walk-in medical clinic in 1997. We were cleaning a lot of ears with the old syringe method and knew there had to be a better way. That led to the development of our patented Elephant Ear Washer and the founding of Doctor Easy by myself, my father and my husband.

When one of our medical distributors put the Elephant Ear Washer on Amazon several years ago, consumers quickly made it a leader in the ear wax removal category, where it remains to this day. While we were gratified to see so many people buying our professional ear washers for home use, we felt they might be missing out. We decided to make a consumer-focused ear wash kit, so individuals could get everything they needed for professional-grade ear washing at home. That’s when we developed the WaxRx pH Conditioned Ear Wash System.

DSN: You’re currently headed to retail with WaxRx — what spurred this move?

MG: With the increasing interest from consumers for self-care, adding a professional-grade ear wax product will help the retailer fulfill his customers’ desire for home-based solutions to medical issues. Since 2017, WaxRx has been exclusively a direct-to-consumer product, with nationwide cable TV and digital marketing driving demand. With more than 60,000 units sold and $2 million-plus spent in raising brand awareness, retailers can benefit from the pent-up demand we have created for WaxRx, by adding this innovative wax removal system to their ear care section.

DSN: How can retailers maximize sales from the product?

MG: More than 8 million people a year end up in the doctor’s office for ear wax removal when current OTC offerings fail. Retailers can maximize sales and profits in the ear care category by offering WaxRx as a professional-grade alternative to a lower price point, and less effective products. With the advent of OTC hearing aids and the fact that ear wax is the top killer of hearing aids, cross-marketing WaxRx in the hearing aid section also can highlight the availability of a truly professional-grade solution to ear wax in the store.

Our ultimate goal is to drive ear wax sufferers to the ear care section of their favorite retailer, instead of the doctor’s office. We’ll accomplish this by adding information on retailers offering the WaxRx System to our ongoing national cable television and digital advertising plan.

DSN: What are your plans for the future?

MG: While Doctor Easy intends to remain a leader in ear wax removal, we’re excited to see our line of consumer-focused ear care products expanding. Later this year, we will be introducing an innovative product designed to relieve dry ear itch, the second most common ear complaint.

Marsha Garcia is vice president of Doctor Easy.
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