Improvements to PCC’s health and body care department

This article was originally published in July 2019

PCC has refreshed the health and body care department at all our stores: adding hundreds of new products, eliminating others, reorganizing and renovating.

The changes help keep our offerings fresh and relevant, said Steven Jamieson, the division’s associate merchandiser, who tackled the project with merchandiser Terry DeBlasio.

We have added some much requested new product lines, including:

  • Vital Proteins, a brand of USDA Organic collagen, protein and gelatin supplements sourced from grass-fed cows.
  • Four Sigmatic powdered mushroom supplements, which are crafted into beverage mixes. Many of the brand’s products are certified USDA Organic.
  • CocoKind, a line of gentle USDA Organic facial care products.
  • Packaged bulk herbs from Oregon Wild Harvest, including ashwagandha, slippery elm, valerian, echinacea and comfrey.

Renovations should make it easier to find items at all our stores. Departments in two stores—Edmonds and Fremont—received a facelift, including new fixtures and built-in LED lights on each shelf. We’ve made all the stores more consistent when it comes to which items we carry and how they’re displayed. While regional favorites will still vary, all PCC branches now stock all items that rank in the top 50% of our sales. More products are also now shelved above knee-level.

In addition to adding new products, we eliminated others. Some were among our slowest-selling products, while others were virtually indistinguishable from other options on the shelf. (If you do miss any of those items, talk to any PCC staff member to arrange a special order.)

Still other items, though, were eliminated because they no longer met our internal guidelines. PCC’s Quality Standards Committee regularly reviews ingredients to assess whether they’re consistent with our requirements. Our list of restricted or prohibited substances (available here) includes some 400 ingredients in health and body care products, from acesulfame-potassium to zinc pyrithione.

“Companies are always updating their formulas,” and sometimes those changes conflict with our requirements, Jamieson said. PCC no longer carries Alaffia conditioner, for instance, because it contains behentrimonium chloride, a common antistatic agent that helps conditioners slide through hair. It can also be an eye irritant.

“It’s seen as safe to many folks, but we strive to be leaders in the industry,” Jamieson said.

“We always want to be pushing forward.”

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