Are self-tests becoming slow-moving in retail?

Selling self-tests in retail has long been a sure-fire success. Now the demand and the price for the packs are falling.

The sale of tests led to a high rush in the discounters and supermarkets.

FThe discounter Netto had a special offer last Friday for owners of the “DeutschlandCard” customer card: Anyone who made purchases from retailers for at least 30 euros received a free self-test. Other retailers have also started discount campaigns for the test kits, and prices in many branches have fallen in recent months. Because the demand for the products has decreased significantly. This was initially reported by the Lebensmittel-Zeitung.

The rush for the self-tests seems to have long since passed: when the first products hit retailers’ shelves at the beginning of March, they were out of stock a few hours after sales began. Some were found a short time later on classifieds portals – with significantly higher prices. An offer like the one from Netto would have been unthinkable at the time. Even in the online shops of drugstores such as DM, the products were temporarily out of stock. Many companies increased their supply due to the high demand.

The prices are falling significantly

According to the industry newspaper, around 18 million test kits are said to have gone over the counter between March and the beginning of May. A decline in demand is also confirmed by the dealer Aldi. The discounter was the first grocer to sell self-tests for home on a large scale. The demand for the tests was “extremely high” at the beginning, according to the press office. “With the expansion of the test capacities in the test centers and the increasing vaccination rate, the demand has decreased as expected,” said the discounter in its written answer. In addition, in many places the test is compulsory for visits to restaurants or retail outlets. However, a self-test is often not enough for this.

To ensure that the products do not become slow-moving for the retailers, prices have continued to fall in recent weeks. While a test cost around 5 euros at the start of sales, there are already offers that are significantly lower. For example, a test kit from the “Hotgen” brand with 10 pieces is offered on the price comparison portal idealo for a total of 24 euros. At the beginning of March, the set was still almost 70 euros. The test is also sold by the Kaufland supermarket. There the prices were adjusted in the past week, according to the dealer. The companies do not want to comment on how big the loss is for the grocer as a result of the price reduction.

But the self-tests are also indispensable – at least for Aldi. The discounter recently added two products to its range: a so-called spit test and a so-called lollipop test. The latter should be especially suitable for children and seniors.