by Kelly Zygowski, category analyst, for the Resolutions blog series
When you present a welcoming, inviting front end, you encourage sales. If your shoppers can quickly and easily find what they are looking for, you’ve succeeded at creating a favorable shopping experience. If, instead, there are a lot of empty spaces or holes where products should be, it will appear haphazard and unorganized, and give your customers the impression that keeping the front-end looking nice and well-stocked is not important or worth the effort. This perceived lack of effort can diminish shoppers’ confidence in your store and deter them from returning.
It’s important to implement a process that you and your staff can follow to keep your shelves stocked and prevent any of your departments from appearing neglected. While all the products sold in your pharmacy are important, there are some that are crucial to keep in stock at all times. HRG classifies these items as Never Outs® because they should always be on the shelf and available to your customers. Never Outs are the best-selling items across subcategories and can represent up to 50% of sales in each category. Being out of these items can negatively impact store sales and give your customers reason to shop elsewhere.
For Never Outs especially, it’s important to keep at least a quantity of two on the shelf – “one to show and one to go” – so when you sell one from the shelf there will not be an empty spot. Because of their impact on your front-end profitability, Never Outs quantities should be checked daily. A crucial part of this process is making sure Never Outs are easily identifiable by employees. When employees know which items should always be in-stock, they can quickly spot items that need to be reordered before they are completely gone. Daily checks can be done during activities such as front-facing, cleaning shelves, and even in the midst of assisting customers. If you utilize a POS system, you can use it to easily track sales of these products.
Check daily for Never Outs and out-of-stocks to ensure you’re providing your customers a great shopping experience while maximizing profitability.