By Kelly Z. for our 99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy blog series

Although the kids just went back to school a few weeks ago, my local mass retailer quickly packed up the back-to-school supplies and brought out Halloween.  I’ve even seen some Christmas items on shelves! Themed promotions at large retailers are a common way of drawing attention to featured products and encouraging impulse purchases among shoppers. You can put themed promotions to work at your store in the same way.

Beyond holidays, there are three great sources you could look to for inspiration for your events:

1. Health-themed months. Nearly every month of the year has a health-related theme attached to it. For instance, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, November is American Diabetes Month, and so on. offers free toolkits with printable information, ideas to raise awareness, and downloadable web badges and social media content for you to share.

themed promotion2. Seasonal events. While mass retailers are setting up Christmas trees and gearing up for Black Friday, you have the opportunity to become your community’s health destination as the seasons change. In winter, focus on cold and flu solutions and winter skin care products. When spring comes, cold and allergy is a great theme. Create a “Travel and Vacation” display in summer, and when falls rolls around, get in the back-to-school game with your competitors.

3. Demographics. Consider who shops in your store. Do you serve a large number of caregivers? Are many of your customers senior women? Craft a promotional event targeted to your key shoppers segments to show appreciation for their loyalty, and to attract new shoppers.

Once you’ve selected a theme, building your in-store event is easy. Place your theme’s items in a high-traffic area, and use lots of prominent signage to draw shoppers to the display. Share news on your website and in your advertising, and have your staff remind customers that the promotion is in effect.

A themed promotion will encourage additional basket rings from your shoppers and will bring energy and excitement to your store.

In support of Hamacher’s TEMPS program, Kelly evaluates and presents new items as part of the new item review team. Kelly also develops planograms for two of our key regional wholesale accounts, and works directly with manufacturers and retailers to analyze client-specific data and develop specialized planogram solutions.

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