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Thread: Why do no major brick and mortar retailers (in the US) sell premium adult diapers?

  1. #1

    Default Why do no major brick and mortar retailers (in the US) sell premium adult diapers?

    I still find it baffling that virtually all major brick and mortar (non-online) retailers in the US sell only Depends and the same generic store brand everywhere. How did Kimberly-Clark get such a monopoly? I've heard a lot of good of theories as to why Depends and store brand diapers suck, but to me the more interesting question is why there's no real competition in stores from better products. If Dry 24/7 can be successful online, why can't it be on shelf next to the Depends? They're both made by American companies. Does the market simply not support it? Are the costs of entry too high? I have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation for lack of decent diapers in stores.

    How did anyone get premium diapers before the Internet?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by INTrePid View Post
    How did anyone get premium diapers before the Internet?
    Premium adult disposables were virtually non-existent prior to 1990. As the early brands came from Europe there was a shift away from stocking better diapers in medical supply stores and pharmacies to only being able to mail order or (by the late 90's) order through the internet.

    Ever see a Molicare pack in a medical supply store? I have. They are ridiculously expensive. And, they just didn't sell. I can't support this with actual data, but I believe the vast majority of Americans prefer a discreet "brief" and are not extremely incontinent. In other words, mild incontinence from an aging population, combined with diaper stigmatism and the strong arm tactics of a few companies to keep costs down has kept cheap disposables in every grocery in the U.S. and actual diapers on the web where they can be ordered discreetly, kept in large warehouses and shipped directly to the user and fulfill the needs of a smaller market that either needs or wants thicker diapers.

    Sure you can't walk in to a CVS and grab a good quality diaper, but who cares when todays selection of diapers over the internet is vastly improved from a just a decade ago. If Bambino Bellissimos cost nearly $2 a diaper online, can you imagine how much they would cost at a pharmacy and who but an AB or the most thick skinned incontinent person would buy them?

  3. #3

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    Possibly because premium nappies as we define them are aimed at people who suffer from heavy incontinence, who are a minority. Depends, like children's bed-wetting pants, are consumer products with a large market, whereas premium nappies like Abena and Dry 24/7 are deemed specialist medical products, with a sales volume too small for major retailers to regard them as a profitable use of shelf space. Not to mention that the major consumers of premium nappies are going to be hospitals and care homes, and they don't have a problem ordering in bulk from specialist medical catalogue stores. There's no particular incentive for big retailers to stock premium diapers, and the manufacturers of them do perfectly good business without having to bother with the pressures of selling through a major retailer. Believe me, if you can do good business without getting yourself enmeshed in supermarket supply chains, then you should be happy with that. The way that some retailers treat their suppliers is akin to slavery.

    Besides, before the Internet, users of premium nappies didn't really have a way of getting together to express an opinion on the quality of the available products. The thing about heavy incontinence products that you have to remember is that 90% of the time, the people who are buying them are not the end-users, and therefore don't care quite as much about comfort and performance, merely price. The major reason that ABDL nappies are so good is because it's the end-user that's actually paying for them, so their opinion has enormous influence on the product.

    And the embarrassment factor shouldn't be overlooked. It's one thing to admit to light bladder weakness when you're a retiree, or a very young child, but I would imagine that most people would be terribly embarrassed to be buying products that advertise that they are majorly incontinent when shopping at a major store - where they might potentially bump into people that they know....
    Last edited by Akastus; 22-Sep-2015 at 03:26.

  4. #4
    bringmesunshine

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    Blimey, the situation seems to have changed then. I was under the impression that americans malls had large adult diaper sections containing many brands, the pharmacies may be a bit one-brand focused but I hope things haven't changed in the malls. This is me speaking as a UK resident very excited about american shopping, the last time I was in American I was so young I didn't know adult nappies excisted! bringmesunshine p.s I'd agree though it's bad when pharmacies (any pharmacy) just carries one brand, it was great months ago because the number one non-chain pharmacy brand of choice - where adult nappies were concerned - were Tena's, but now they've gone cloth-backed they're hidious and I'm avoiding them completely, worse still no non-chain pharmacies are stocking PB alternits...roll on the UK arrival of the Tena Slip Original line!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bringmesunshine View Post
    Blimey, the situation seems to have changed then. I was under the impression that americans malls had large adult diaper sections containing many brands, the pharmacies may be a bit one-brand focused but I hope things haven't changed in the malls.
    Speaking as a UK resident as well, I can't say that I've ever that impression. My understanding was simply that the US has a greater number of consumer-accessible medical supply stores, not that major retailers stocked such products. "More widely available" is not the same thing as "ubiquitous".

  6. #6

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    American consumers are sheep led by advertisers to buy whatever profits the big corporations the most. I mean really Bud & Corona are the worst beers on the planet but they sell well there.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bringmesunshine View Post
    Blimey, the situation seems to have changed then. I was under the impression that americans malls had large adult diaper sections containing many brands, the pharmacies may be a bit one-brand focused but I hope things haven't changed in the malls. This is me speaking as a UK resident very excited about american shopping, the last time I was in American I was so young I didn't know adult nappies excisted! bringmesunshine p.s I'd agree though it's bad when pharmacies (any pharmacy) just carries one brand, it was great months ago because the number one non-chain pharmacy brand of choice - where adult nappies were concerned - were Tena's, but now they've gone cloth-backed they're hidious and I'm avoiding them completely, worse still no non-chain pharmacies are stocking PB alternits...roll on the UK arrival of the Tena Slip Original line!
    Hmm... I'm getting the impression that shopping malls in Britain are different than ones here in the United States! Admittedly, I haven't been in that many different malls, but our indoor ones (as opposed to ''strip'' malls) don't really have any stores that sell adult diapers.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimbaStarshine View Post
    Hmm... I'm getting the impression that shopping malls in Britain are different than ones here in the United States! Admittedly, I haven't been in that many different malls, but our indoor ones (as opposed to ''strip'' malls) don't really have any stores that sell adult diapers.
    I've been in plenty of malls on both sides of the Atlantic and I can assure you, there's no difference except size and a greater propensity towards multi-storey car parks in the UK (land values being what they are). I think that bringmesunshine may be referring to large retailers like Wal-Mart.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akastus View Post
    I've been in plenty of malls on both sides of the Atlantic and I can assure you, there's no difference except size and a greater propensity towards multi-storey car parks in the UK (land values being what they are). I think that bringmesunshine may be referring to large retailers like Wal-Mart.
    Ah, I was thinking perhaps British malls had a bigger variety of types of stores inside, like pharmacies where one might find diapers.

  10. #10

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    Well, you'll find Boots pharmacies in most British malls, and they stock rebranded Attends, both pull-up and plastic-backed slip, but they can hardly be called premium products. Larger supermarkets may stock adult pull-ups, and I've seen Depends in Costco, but generally retail Britain is as much a wasteland for premium nappies as the US.

    As I said, they're a specialist product targeted at a small market. Major retailers only ever focus on the mass market.

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