April 8, 2021
Spring is in the air, and this spring will be a lot different than last year’s. Instead of stay-at-home orders and lockdowns, people are getting vaccinated for Covid-19 and venturing out of their houses more and more.
To prepare for the new season and oncoming influx of in-store visitors, it’s time to dust out the cobwebs and freshen up your pharmacy.
From your interior to your exterior to your digital presence, here are a few tips to address areas that you may not get to in the course of your regular maintenance routine.
If it’s been a while since you performed a cycle count on your inventory, spring cleaning is the perfect time to do that.
It’s also a great time to clear out products that are expired or haven’t sold a single unit since the last time you did spring cleaning. By clearing out your shelves, you can make room for more products that patients actually want.
While you’re working on counting and assessing your inventory, tidy up the shelves as you go.
After a winter of patients dragging in snow, mud, and road salt, your carpets are probably loaded with grime and could use a thorough steam clean.
Even if you don’t have carpet, you can give your floors a little extra attention. Sweep out those corners that tend to get skipped and give the whole pharmacy a good mopping.
Refresh your in-store marketing for the season. Pick a new item from your beauty aisle and offer patients the chance to try it out, or change out what you feature on your endcaps.
Create new signage to inform patients about new products and services. After weeks or months of featuring the same thing, in-store promotions can start to blend into the scenery. Changing it up will help you catch their attention.
Take some time this spring to focus on your pharmacy’s high traffic areas. Walk through your front door and assess what you see. Is the signage clear? Do the aisles encourage you to walk around the store or do they funnel you straight to the pharmacy counter?
Another area to concentrate on is the checkout. Include easy-to-grab impulse buys by the register, but make sure there aren’t so many products that it becomes cluttered.
You can also do a check of your bathroom to make sure that, in addition to being clean, all the fixtures are in working order.
Clear out any dead leaves leftover from the fall or dead branches that came down during winter storms. If you live in a snowy climate, you may find that when the snow melts, it reveals litter.
Hold a clean-up session with your staff to clean up your exterior and get rid of any debris that accumulated over the winter.
Get out your squeegee and give your windows a thorough scrub down. Smudges and grime aren’t inviting to patients, while crystal clear windows give passersby an opportunity to peek inside and see what you have to offer.
Once your windows are squeaky clean, take some time to rethink your window displays. Take down any old and faded signage and replace it with new information and promotions that will entice visitors.
If you have the space to display products in your window, make sure the items you have out are appropriate for the season.
Colorful flowers in hanging baskets or a nice planter will create a warm welcome for patients as the weather heats up.
If you do add a plant, make sure to keep it watered and well-groomed. A dead plant or one that gets so big it encroaches on your sidewalk or entrance might send the wrong impression.
Make sure the path to your pharmacy is clear and accessible. Sweep the sidewalk regularly and check to see if there are any potential obstructions to getting into the store.
This includes your parking lot. Fill any potholes that may have appeared over the winter, and update signage to make it clear where patients should go for curbside pickup or drive-thru.
Take a look at your interior and exterior lighting and replace any dead or flickering lightbulbs. Your exterior should be well-lit so patients don’t mistake your pharmacy for being closed, and your interior should have lighting that isn’t too harsh.
Make sure your bulbs match in temperature and intensity — if your interior is lit with warm and cool bulbs with differing brightness, it ruins the ambiance for visitors.
Switch up the furniture in your waiting area or rearrange some of your shelving to give your pharmacy a fresh new look. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but changing up your interior shows your patients that you’re investing in their comfort.
Don’t keep pressing the “Rem Tomorrow” button on your computer updates. Use your spring cleaning as a chance to check up on all the electronics in your pharmacy.
From installing updates to changing passwords to making sure there are batteries in the smoke detector, being proactive about maintenance is the best way to prevent a tech emergency in the future.
Audit your website to make sure all the information about your products and services is up to date. If you changed your hours and store policies because of the pandemic, make sure that information is up to date. Add information about new and updated services, like curbside pickup, delivery, or Covid-19 vaccinations.
It’s also a great time to read through every page and check for typos.
Take an hour to polish up your social media accounts. Schedule a few posts, update your cover photo, and prune the list of people you’re following. Go through each of your profiles and make sure all your pharmacy information — like hours, location, website, and phone number — are listed and accurate.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The member-owned company serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, distribution services, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited (formerly VAWD) warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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