daunting task. Ms. Azarian found a 21-store chain
who is interested in carrying Pan’s Best Friend, but
in return they have asked for six months of exclusivity.
Meanwhile, Sprinks has obtained distribution in
small boutiques. “We’re not in chains yet because a
lot of smaller boutiques we are in want the first
launch or they won’t carry our product,” said Ms.
While Home Depot seems the perfect place to sell
Polywipes, Mr. Esposito said the retail giant was not
interested in such a small player. “Getting out to
mass market has been a challenge,” Mr. Esposito
said. We are more of a business-to-business com-
pany. The consumer will not need 150 wipes that are
in a bucket. We do have individual towelettes sold in
a box of 25. The individual may use one towelette to
clean up a job of dispensing silicone whereas indus-
try is using silicone all day, everyday.”
Dapple’s strategy of originally launching its wipes in
baby stores such as Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us and
Buy Buy Baby appears to have paid off. The compa-
ny has expanded to national drug chains and super-
markets such as Duane Reade and H-E-B in Texas as
well as Kinray, which supplies independent drugstores.
The company has also had success on diapers.com.
If you are a name brand it’s easier to bring a wipe
to market as a line extension, according to Ms.
Carey. At press time, A World of Wipes planned a
September launch of a consumer version of its home
care foot care wipes product under the Nature
Essentials brand at the Ahold supermarket chain.
“We will also launch first aid wipes for kids, cough
and cold nose wipes and feminine hygiene cotton,
flushable wipes,” said Ms. Carey.
The Cost of Doing Business
Knowing the cost of doing business is crucial to suc-
Dapple, a maker of toy cleaning wipes, got it name from a Simon &
cess in the niche wipes market.
Ms. Pickens couldn’t emphasize enough the
importance of writing a business plan. “I was able to
write a business plan, knowing what it was going to
cost us to do business at retail, knowing we are
going to need ‘X’ amount of money to make this
cash flow and be able to build the brand. We balance
that every day. You have to know how much money
you need to raise and bring in and maintain your
ownership versus having enough money to build the
brand but still maintain your equity in the company,”
Despite the epic recession, niche wipes appear to
be fetching higher prices than traditional wipes and
entrepreneurs insist that their wipes are worth it
because of the ingredients that their wipes contain
and the fact that their wipes are unique.
Sprinks’ Deluxe size of 50 wipes retails for $6.50
while the 10-count travel size wipes carries a $4.50
price tag. “They might be a little higher priced but
they are made in the U.S. and we have the French
lavender extract which makes it more expensive.
They are a large wipe—eight by six inches,” said
Ms. Pickens agreed that Boogie Wipes are a little
pricey but added, “When we did our pricing model
we knew we wanted to stay under the five dollar
range. We’re a higher priced wipe. We’re not in the
same category of some of the “natural” type wipes
that sell for seven to eight dollars a pack. Ours retail
from $3.50 to $3.99 a pack so we are in a little higher category but compared to what? There’s nothing
you can really compare our wipe to so we priced
them in the middle of saline nose drops and regular
consumer wipes,” she said.
Dapple’s toy wipes carry a price of $6.99 for a
canister and $3.49 for a 20-count package. “There
are definitely people who are willing to pay a premium for natural and the ingredients that go into the
wipe are more expensive because they are all plant
derived. You are paying a premium for the actual
wipe and natural ingredients, but they are fairly
priced,” said Ms. Rubinstein.
K-C Professional’s Mr. Reynolds acknowledged
that it was challenging to determine the retail price
for Kimtech One-Step Germicidal Wipes because
the product had unique claims and the company
wanted to clearly communicate the added value.
The packaging is 60 wipes per canister, eight canisters per case. The list price is $120 per case.
A bucket of Polywipes has a list price of $45 for