NOW launches in-store only product sizes

By Claudia Adrien

- Last updated on GMT

NOW is the only company providing SKUs that are sold exclusively in physical store, the organization said. @ Tara Moore/ Getty Images
NOW is the only company providing SKUs that are sold exclusively in physical store, the organization said. @ Tara Moore/ Getty Images

Related tags Small business Supply chain

Natural product manufacturer NOW is introducing products bottled in sizes that will be available exclusively in store to support smaller brick and mortar retailer sales.

The offering includes its top-selling 5HTP, CoQ10, probiotics and vitamin D, among others. The size offered falls between the small and large quantities per bottle typically sold online or at large retail outlets.

Each product comes with an ‘in-store only’ logo displayed on the front of the label. Online stores will be unable to request these products as NOW’s fulfillment system is coded, blocking those proprietors from ordering the supplements.

“NOW’s history and ‘blood’ is with the independent retailer,” said Dan Richard, the company’s Health Group vice president of global sales and marketing. “For most of our history, NOW only sold to health food stores.”

Not about profitability

As far as Richard is aware, NOW is the only company providing SKUs that are sold exclusively in physical stores, he added. Moreover, he noted that incorporating more SKUs costs the company as it adds on inventory for similar sales.

NOW’s decision to support independent retailers has little to do with profitability and more to do with helping physical stores be successful in the long term, Richard said.

“NOW originated out of one small store, and NOW’s family owners still own the Fruitful Yield retail chain of stores in the Chicago area,” Richard said. “NOW has also grown specifically from support by independent natural food stores for decades, and we want to continue supporting smaller store customers.”

NOW has served as a natural products manufacturer for 55 years. The business began with entrepreneur Elwood Richard, who initially established Health House as a small chain of health food stores based in the Chicago region, according to the company. By 1968, the company had branded itself as NOW Foods​.

It was in the mid-1970s that NOW adopted the name ‘The Fruitful Yield’ for its retail health food brick and mortars. Currently, the company has 11 stores throughout Illinois.

Birth of the business concept

NOW developed the concept to sell exclusive products to independent retailers from the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA), Richard said.

The Minnesota-based organization has 347 retailer members nationwide and advocates for the improvement and expanded access to products, promotional offerings and ancillary services for these businesses, according to its website.  

INFRA’s president said in a statement​ that independent retailers were hit hard by the global pandemic, which led to shifts in consumer habits, the supply chain and the way these retailers do business.  

NOW recognizes a need here, and Richard said the company is helping independent retailers in other ways. NOW has provided these businesses with free programs, such as in-store merchandising materials and education sessions, to help store staff expand their knowledge of products.

As for a business model that also operates outside of brick and mortar, Richard added that NOW initially resisted selling items on popular online platforms such as Amazon, however, requests for its products became too overwhelming to ignore.

“[Offering exclusive product sizes] is our latest effort to support physical independent and natural chain stores, and we hope to expand the number of products offered if the program does well,” he said.



Related news

Follow us


View more