By Julie Bonnell for our “99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy” blog series

With all the retail outlet choices available today, more and more consumers understand they can make a difference in their communities by shopping locally. They recognize that by shopping at local businesses, like your independent pharmacy, their dollars are more likely to stay in their community. What you stock also helps to reinforce this message. By stocking locally-created products, you contribute to helping your community thrive, including helping maintain local employment and fueling the local economy. This provides you a strategic advantage and differentiates your store.

So how do you go about getting started? It’s easier than you might think. Start by picking out one place in your store that you will use to merchandise and promote local productspromote local products. Perhaps an endcap near the checkout. Next, reach out to local businesses to let them know you are interested in testing their products in your store. You could even visit local farmers’ markets to meet potential suppliers. Ask them to provide their story so your staff can share it with shoppers. Your customers value your service and knowing the background of these products enhances your reputation as being supportive of your community.

A grocery store in my neighborhood has used this approach quite effectively. They have an endcap where they promote locally made products including a small write-up about the company and a sign stating how far the product has traveled to reach the shelf. If the product does well, they are moved from the endcap to a “permanent location” in the store. They also offer the manufacturer a chance to be in the store providing samples and talking about the benefits of their product. Customer response has been very positive, including checking back to see if the products they bought “made it.”

Stocking products made locally is a win-win. You support your local economy in more ways than one and you satisfy and attract consumers that appreciate and patronize businesses that are community-focused.


Julie BonnellJulie is HRG’s Director of Operations and a member of the senior management team. She directs and guides our Client Services, Fulfillment, Category and Product Research & Analysis, Data Assets and Visual Assets teams. She also participates in business development activities and the product development strategies required to support them.

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