For many of us, the next few days will be a flurry of cooking, gift wrapping and cleaning. That’s on top of an incredibly busy week in your pharmacy. With constant lines and ringing phones it’s hard to think about much past this moment in this day.
But the holiday season is coming to a close so it’s time to think about what’s next. When the dust settles and life returns to a more normal routine, what will you need to do in your pharmacy? One of the most major things for many independent retailers will be setting stock back to normal. Clearing out seasonal product and preparing for the next retail phase of the year. As we are all so busy this time of year I’ll keep it short and sweet this week. Here are 3 key things you can start thinking about to begin a successful transition into a new season and a new year.
1) Start clearing your seasonal product. Yes, there may still be money to be made in your seasonal stock, but it’s likely these sales are tapering off. What’s more likely, the competition is already starting to put some pretty hefty mark downs in place. Start the clearance process now so that you don’t get stuck with large volumes of outdated product. If you’re not sure where to start, check out your closest competition to find out what they’re doing. You can also use your pharmacy POS system to run reports to see what items have slowing sales compared to a week or a month ago, or even find out what items have had no sales for a certain period of time.
2) Decide what you’ll do with leftover seasonal product. No matter how far you mark your products down, you’ll probably still have some leftover seasonal items hanging about long after the last purchase has been made. You’ll need to decide what you’ll do with that product. Because you don’t want out of date product taking up valuable shelf space in your pharmacy, you’ll need to figure out whether to store those products or donate them. Even storing product in your back room can have unforeseen costs so I recommend carefully considering those potential costs and seriously investigating donation of these products. Check out our past blog post on inventory holding costs for more information on this topic.
3) Map out product movements: For a little while, your holiday clearance should still be front and center, but after a week or two as sales slow, you may want to consider moving it to a less prominent spot. (Maybe with other clearance product.) But you can also start moving the next group of seasonal items front and center pretty quickly. We’ve been seeing lurid tones of red and green, silver and gold in every store we’ve walked into for months now. A little break from all of that with a few pops of pastels for Valentine’s Day (which isn’t too far away) might help to drive some early seasonal sales. Many large stores set product for the next round of holidays on December 24 for exactly this reason.
I hope that this year has been successful for you thus far and that it continues as we begin the final countdown. We may all be looking forward to a little break from the madness but taking some time now to think about what’s next will help your pharmacy continue its streak of success long past the new year.
Karen Deckard came to RMS with a background in retail and customer service, and was initially brought on board as a Sales Assistant and managed IIAS certifications for RMS’s pharmacy POS customers. Today, Karen works as a Customer Success Manager, striving to provide independent and institutional pharmacies with the tools and resources they need to succeed in today’s competitive pharmacy market.