July 19, 2017
When’s the last time you took a good hard look at your pharmacy’s front-end inventory?
If you want to boost front-end sales, you have to be mindful of seasonal factors that affect your inventory and when it’s time to reorder over-the-counter (OTC) products.
We’ve compiled a list of front-end inventory management tips with help from Gabe Trahan, senior director of store operations and marketing at the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), and his advice in Profit Makers, an email with front-end tips for pharmacies.
If you don’t consistently check your front-end inventory, you may not realize you’re out of product until it’s too late.
Conduct regular reviews to ensure you have enough stock of your best-selling products. And, make sure you order enough seasonal products to keep your shelves full.
For example, during summer months, Trahan said to stock enough sunscreen, insect repellant and poison ivy remedies to last you the entire season.
Additionally, keep track of which items are slow or non-moving. Consider offering a sale price on these items and be sure not to reorder them.
If you know sales will be slow for certain items during a particular season, pull them off the shelves and remerchandise those empty spots.
For example, Trahan said greeting card sales may be slow in the summer. He recommends filling empty spots in your card racks with books, photo frames or gift wrap.
Patients should be able to easily remove and replace items from your pharmacy’s shelves. If it’s hard for them to retrieve an item, they may forget about it and move on.
“Position shelving so that you never have to tilt an item to get it off the shelf,” Trahan said. If necessary, move the shelf up a notch so that it’s completely above the item.
It’s important to position products so they appeal to patients as they browse your pharmacy’s shelves.
“Product standing on its end or merchandised lengthwise instead of fully faced will always suffer in sales,” Trahan said.
Take time to check each of your shelves and make sure products are facing the correct way.
How do you know when it’s time to reorder OTC products?
One simple way is to use shelf stickers to keep track of inventory in your front end.
“Every item in your store, no matter where it was ordered from, must have a shelf reorder sticker—even if you have to write them by hand,” Trahan said.
Use these simple front-end inventory management tips to help increase your pharmacy’s front-end sales.
Want more front-end business tips like this for your pharmacy? Sign up for our e-newsletter.