Study: Independent Pharmacy Customers Younger than Anticipated, Satisfied With Product Options Offered


Shoppers at independent pharmacies skew younger than pharmacists believe, according to the results of the Hamacher Research Group’s (HRG) Independent Pharmacy Research Study. Presented during Cardinal Health’s Retail Business Conference, the findings show that 1 in 4 shoppers is 40 years of age or younger, compared to pharmacists’ expectation that the majority of their customers are between 51 and 64 years of age.1

To conduct the study, HRG analyzed a survey of independent pharmacists, point-of-sale (POS) data, and a survey of independent pharmacy shoppers. The pharmacist survey received 404 responses, whereas the shopper survey had 323 participants. The POS data were provided by 136 stores and included sales data from August 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020, composed of 675,590 unique transactions.1

According to the survey results, independent pharmacists anticipated that 51% of their customers would be between 51 and 64 years of age, with less than 40% being under 50 years of age. However, the study indicates that 26% of independent pharmacy shoppers are below the age of 40 years, with 9% responding that they are under 25 years of age.1

“When we think of shoppers patronizing independents, we tend to think of consumers 50-plus,” said Dave Wendland, vice president strategic relations at HRG, in a press release. “However, we found that one in four shoppers is age 40 and under, which opens a lot of opportunity for these stores to build loyalty and solidify a long-term customer base.”2

The survey also asked which categories of products customers wished contained more products, across the categories of personal care and health and wellness. For personal care, 32% of respondents indicated they would like to see a wider range of skin care products for sale and 17% wanted more options for deodorant.

In the health and wellness category, 19% again responded that skin care options were a high priority and 15% suggested they would like to see a wider range of vitamins and dietary supplements. However, the majority of respondents indicated they didn’t have any categories under health and wellness that they wished contained more products, with 54% responding “none” to that question.1

“From services that shoppers are looking for, to the categories they wish contained more products, these small businesses have demonstrated how nimble they can be and now is the time to adjust to new consumer behaviors to remain a trusted source of health and wellness solutions,” Wendland said in the release.2


  1. Independent Pharmacy Research Study. HRG; June 8, 2021. Accessed July 16, 2021.
  2. HRG Presentation included in Cardinal Health’s Retail Business Conference virtual event [news release]. HRG; July 13, 2021. Accessed July 16, 2021.
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