by Nelson Rodriguez, merchandising analyst, for the Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies blog series

If it has been some time since you’ve refreshed your store image, consider an update. I believe there are two types of store image: the physical store image and your image within your community.

When it comes to your store’s physical appearance, try to view it with an objective eye. Does it need changes or a refresh? Is it in line with the image you’re trying to project? One way to keep your customers interested in shopping all four corners is to do something new. Maybe that’s moving departments to ensure you have logical category adjacencies and zones of wellness, beauty, and OTCs together, or rotating products. It could be updating endcaps. Give customers a reason to continue to explore your store and see all that you carry.Make sure employees are easy to spot

Don’t forget that your staff should also uphold the physical store image you’re trying to achieve. Institute a dress code that includes certain colors or patterns so everyone has a uniform look and is easily identifiable. You can also provide uniforms or smocks for a consistent look that makes it easy for customers to spot associates.

Now consider your image within your community – how are you perceived among other retail healthcare providers? Do you want to be known as a healthcare destination or something else? Your image is where you can differentiate your store from competitors. Think about where the closest competitor is and your current and potential customers. Is there a chain drugstore nearby? How do you demonstrate the benefit of choosing your pharmacy over theirs? There are many ways – loyalty programs are perhaps the most common way to build a faithful shopper base.

Updating your store image should be something you do on a regular basis. At the rate the retail world continues to evolve, staying on top of your store image and how your pharmacy is perceived in the community is something you can no longer afford to overlook.