by Kyle Lentz, category analyst, for the Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies blog series

Endcaps are some of the most beneficial yet highly underutilized sections within your pharmacy. Highly effective and timely endcaps coincide with seasonal activities and offer your customers one-stop-shopping for the products they expect to find during that time of year.

A prime example of a beneficial endcap is one that is geared towards the summer months. Many smaller pharmacies only carry a small section of sun care items year round but ramp up the purchasing during the summer months. These products should be the base of your summer endcap. Products that can also be included are bug sprays, bandages, antibiotic creams, itch-relief ointments, and holiday merchandise. As the end of the season rolls around, you can mark down any remaining product and add any remaining sun care items to your regular department. Once this is complete, plan for your next endcap which could feature back-to-school items.

To keep it fresh and exciting, the lifespan of an endcap is typically one month. The summer endcap example, however, can be kept up for at least three months to capture the typical time that children have off of school. By changing the endcap monthly, you highlight the various offerings of your store and indicate to your customers that you are looking out for their needs.

An underutilized endcap is one that has outlasted its usefulness or that is used only for items you’re trying to get rid of quickly. These endcaps are much less effective and give off a less than professional look, especially if they are positioned at the front of the pharmacy. To avoid these situations, put together a schedule of endcaps for the year, and rotate them often enough to keep your pharmacy looking fresh and professional. Your customers will appreciate it.