We caught up with Sasha Simpson, a buyer at John Bell & Croyden, a luxury pharmacy in London, to find out more about their non-pharmaceutical ranges.

What products have been performing well at John Bell & Croyden?

Vitamins have been a bestseller. We have extended the vitamins space in store, put a real focus on this category and launched new brands, which has led to successful sales.

Vitamins, and of course cough, cold & flu products are categories we see an uplift in every winter.

Men’s grooming has also performed well due to the launch of new brands, so this is a category I am keen to continue growing. There are lots of exciting brands which I think our customers will love.

Have you noticed any trends in the kind of products that customers are looking for?

Dental whitening products are definitely trending. We have seen an increase in sales from existing brands as well as new, niche brands I have launched.

Oral care is a category which has become popular over the last few years. I believe this is an extension of skincare, aesthetics and wellness: people understand the importance of oral care, are excited by niche brands and wish to have a bright smile.

Skincare is a category that John Bell & Croyden is famous for, and it occupies a large proportion of our store, as well as our online business. We are constantly bringing in new and niche brands that continue to excite our customers.

Has the interest in women’s health this year affected sales or enquiries? 

The feminine care category has seen a huge uplift. It has been exciting to see how well new brands in this category have been performing. From organic pads and tampons, to intimate washes, the category is thriving.

Any types of products that you’ve introduced this year that you’d suggest other pharmacies try too?

Sustainability is one of our central focuses for new products as we hold the international standard for environmental management ISO14001. We would encourage all wellness and beauty retailers, not just pharmacies, to look for organic, sustainable and environmentally considerate products.

How do you get to know your customers in order to buy in the right products for them? 

Reviewing sales reports to see how products are performing, spending time on the shop floor to understand what customers are asking for and checking the latest trends in the market. Our suppliers also have indispensable knowledge on the market, so it’s important to regularly meet with them to understand the trends they are seeing.

How do you use sales information to make decisions on what to order?

I analyse sales by category and product area. This allows me to review trends, new reactions and rate of sale. Categories/products driving sales bring exciting opportunities to source new products and grow ranges.

Have there been any problems with supply? 

We have experienced supply issues, as many retailers have. We work closely with suppliers to understand timelines and discuss the possibility of onboarding similar products to maintain a great product offering for our customers.

How do you display and market products effectively? 

We have numerous gondola ends, tables, rose gold units and feature walls throughout the store which are impactful in driving customers to the products. They are a great way to launch new products or highlight existing ranges. We have an in-house marketing and PR team that work very closely with all of our brands to maximise exposure both on the shop floor and in the wider world.

Meet The Buyer John Bell Croyden Inside

A look inside the John Bell & Croyden pharmacy.

John Bell & Croyden also offers other healthcare services, including an InResidence health clinic.