The Dollars and the Indies: Pt. 2

September 24, 2013By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

Posted by Jenny Kosek

So, dollar stores and their pharmacies are a-comin’, and your pharmacy needs to be ready to battle them for consumers. Are you ready?dollar stores and their pharmacies are a-comin’

Consumers choose where to shop based on what I’ll call “the Three Cs”. In order of importance, they are:

1. Convenience
2. Cost
3. Customer Service

Dollar stores are winning the war for consumer loyalty by offering a shopping experience focused on convenience and cost. But the opportunities for independents to beat them at their own game are many:

Convenience: Dollar stores are often situated next to big box stores to attract customers seeking fewer crowds, easier store navigation, and more focused SKUs-attractions an independent pharmacy offers in spades. Make sure your front end is clean and organized, with clear navigational signage. The average dollar store size is 7,500 square feet to 15,000 square feet-these are not enormous stores, but they are well merchandised for easy shopping. Which leads us to…

Cost: Recession-rattled customers want to save as much money as possible on OTC products. Be aware of your pricing and make sure it’s competitive. Position private label products next to their national brand counterparts to make selection easy for cost-conscious customers.

Finally, let’s explore the third C: Customer Service. The pharmacy’s secret weapon! As retail buzzes about the growth of the dollar channel, one noticeably absent discussion is that of dollar channels’ customer service. Take note that cashiers and stockers within this channel are not HBW experts.

To compete with dollar chains, your independent pharmacy must offer exceptional service to keep customers coming back for more. For instance, Dollar Tree’s Deals’ in-store pharmacy offers at-home delivery of prescription drugs. Do you? Rethink your customer service offerings and position yourself as forward-thinking and customer-focused, and demonstrate in all you do why your pharmacy is a better choice for consumers than the dollar channel ever could be. Do this, and you will be better positioned to win the war for shopper loyalty.

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