2011 Front-End Overhaul Tips Archive
Forking Over the Cash
Setting a retail price on assistance with daily living (ADL) items can be tricky. Retailing an ADL fork at $27.04 seems a bit high. A Web search found one particular ADL fork priced anywhere from $8.99 to $22.75. I suggest you take the time and set a retail margin for your entire ADL line. The new One Pager Tip, ADL Margins, details information and examples on how to do just this.
Look alive and doing well in 2012! People choose stores that look prosperous and alive. Keep your doors and windows sparkling clean and clutter-free. Keep your store well-lit and bright.
Deck the Halls – Then Photograph
We’re all so busy this time of year that we can hardly remember what we did last week, never mind what we did last year. Many years ago, one of the independents I worked with did a fantastic job of decorating for Christmas nearly every year. I say nearly, because one year the manager found himself overwhelmed with preparations for a first-of-the-year sale and the end-of-year inventory. He turned the holiday store set responsibility over to a seasoned assistant manager. She did her best, but it was nowhere as nice as the many years before. After that experience, every manager was instructed to take several photos of holiday sets, and the photos were to be stored in the safe! Each year the photos were reviewed and managers were told to make it even better.
If your store looks great this holiday season, take a few photos, post them on your Facebook page to share with your customers, and save them for next year. You never know when you might just need them.
Dec 26th is one of the biggest days for returns and it's on a Monday this year! Monday's are always busy, the last thing you want are return hassles. Post your return policies in clear view, go over your policy with all employees, especially new ones, and make sure everyone has a clear understanding of how to handle returned products. Do this before Dec 24th, or at the very latest, before you open on Dec 26th. Check out the new One Pager Tip for more tips on return policies.
Make Your Checkout Counter a Profit Center
The number one area for impulse sales is your checkout counter! Keep it clutter free and judiciously choose what is displayed on the counter. Rotate new items to the counter every two weeks.
Merchandiser: Beware of the Ones.
There are some real disadvantages to stocking only one unit of an item on your shelves. Things like zero-outs, increased labor, limited sales, and mixed messages are bad for business. You don’t want customers to think that the merchandise is so expensive that even the store can’t afford more than one. Learn more about this and how to avoid these pitfalls in the new One Pager Tip: One is Never Enough.
Is anyone home if the lights are off?
I was at a member’s store recently and the owner was willing to swear to me that her two outside lights come on at 7:00 pm every night. We checked later that evening and found out that the lights do not turn on at 7:00 pm nor do they turn on at any time at night. Check your exterior lights to make sure that they actually work. It’s important that people can see your store after hours. What you think is happening, may not actually be working. While you’re at it, instead of walking through the back door to enter your pharmacy, walk through the front door once in awhile to see what your customers see. You might be surprised.
Why You Should Want to Have a Want Book
Look for ways to meet your customers’ needs. The easiest way find out what they need is to ask them. Try this, “Thank you for coming in today, was there anything that you were looking for that we don’t seem to have?” We have a vast source of resources that we can order items from, we would be glad to help.
You do not need to carry everything a customer asks for, but you do need to take note of what is being requested. Have a Want Book at every checkout and drop-off counter. If you see a pattern, perhaps you are on to something.
Get in the habit of asking: “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”
Here is an idea. If a customer asks for a personal care product, for example, “You don’t carry the shampoo I like.” Order it in, stock it, and give the first bottle away to the customer. This little investment may cost you less than 2 dollars. Can you think of a better way to spend 2 dollars?
You can’t be everything to everyone, but in many cases, with little effort, you can easily meet people’s needs and make them happy. Fulfilling customers’ needs will have its rewards.
Do you sell canes?
The $2,000 cane??? A patient that buys a cane from you will usually get their first rollator, and other mobility and home health aids as well so offer your customers an assortment of styles and colors to choose from and take time to merchandise them properly. Canes are available in ball, crook, derby, ornamental, palm grip, soft grip, offset, left handed, right handed and T handles. There seems to be no end in colors and fashion canes are becoming very popular. Some of the better selling women’s styles are hummingbird, butterfly, and bingo motifs. Men tend to gravitate to the wood, wildlife, and card players motifs. Leather wrapped canes seem to be a big hit as well. Some canes even light up, known as The Pathfinder. Don’t forget the folding travel cane.
Want more? There’s a list of great ideas in the One Pager Tips section and a sign you can print and use in the site’s Sign section.
Here is a simple way to create Holiday sales without playing the discount game and without having to buy seasonal merchandise! I apologize if this sounds too easy. Market your pharmacy as a Stocking Stuffer Headquarters, “With hundreds to choose from!” You already have everyday stocking stuffers and healthy stocking stuffers. You see, there are no magical Elves at the North Pole making stocking stuffers (sorry if that upsets you). The fact is that anything that fits in a stocking is pretty much a stocking stuffer. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. Put it on your Facebook, post it to your website. (P.S. There is an easy to use sign in the site’s sign section.)
The Center for Disease Control recommends facial tissues as one of the key strategies to minimize cold and flu viruses. (Wow, wouldn't that make a great sign!)
"Every year, the U.S. alone reports more than one billion colds and 25-50 million flu cases." Be ready, a number of them will be coming into your store!
Here is a NO BRAINER. You know in the next 90 days you are going to have the opportunity to sell a ton of facial tissues and hand sanitizers. Fill up an end-cap now! No sense of running out or ordering the same item every two days! Order a month's worth! It doesn't go out of date! Have it and you will sell it.... Make sure to offer the anti viral, ultra soft and lotion lines of tissue. Do it now, it's a no brainer. Don't forget the hand sanitizer!