Resolution: Review my product assortment to determine if changes are needed

May 8, 2019By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies, Resources focused on Independent Pharmacy

By Althea R., data assets specialist, for the Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies blog series

When was the last time you reviewed which products are lining your store’s shelves?  If you have to stop and think about that, maybe it’s time to do an assessment and a little “spring cleaning.” If not now, make it a goal for next quarter.

While it might seem like a daunting task, you can break down your review by looking at individual categories. This makes it easier and you can pay more attention to a smaller group of products rather than looking at everything in the store at one time.

Taking the time to assess what you carry helps determine if modifications are in order. Here are some ideas to help get you started:

  • Look at products that have low sales or no sales in recent months or even the past year. Replace these under-performing items with new or slightly different ones. For instance,Checking stock levels depending on what region of the country your store is located in, sun care items may not move as fast in winter versus the summer. Replace sunscreens with sunless-tanning SKUs or vice versa. It’s easiest to do an even swap — remove five SKUs and add five.
  • Take some time to research what’s popular with consumers, and find out what attributes are important to them. This could be as easy as favorite scents, flavors, or colors. Or, is it possible that more of your customers are shifting toward natural products? Maybe there are natural alternatives to what you are currently carrying. Talk with your customers to understand their preferences and/or spend a little time searching online.
  • Consider carrying more private label products; this gives customers a low-cost alternative and can act as a back-up for a national brand. If you only carry the well-known brand for a particular type of product, having a secondary brand is a great option. That way if you are out of stock for Brand A, customers can easily purchase Brand B instead of going somewhere else to shop.

Keep in mind the shelf and/or peg space you are working with. While the “new” items may not be new to market, they are making their first appearance in your store. Will those items take up the same amount of space or will they take up more or less? You may have to make minor modifications to accommodate these items.

By reviewing your product assortment and making any necessary changes, you are shaking off the doldrums and helping rejuvenate your store — perfect for this time of year!