Basic housekeeping

Retail & merchandising

Basic housekeeping

Keeping your pharmacy in tip top condition

Your retail business may only be 7-15% of your turnover but it is 100% of your image. Your customers walk into your "shop", not your dispensary so it is vital that this part of the business is a reflection of how you run your entire service.

Prior to opening, daily

  • Check the outside of your pharmacy is clean.
    • Wipe the windows and neatly display window posters.
    • Ensure fascia is intact and professional. You will need to clean your fascia at least once a year.
    • Dispose of litter, sweep the pavement and make sure people are aware your pharmacy is open and welcoming customers.
  • Unpack morning stock delivery.
    • Fill the gaps on your shop floor with stock from the delivery according to your shelf plans.
    • Put any remaining stock in the back office.
  • Pull all stock forward and ensure shelves are presentable and clean.
    • Make sure you bring all stock to the front of the shelf rather than just the front item to avoid untidy gaps on the shelf.
  • Stock review and order.
    • Ensure any out of stock items are labelled as such on the fixture.
    • Order the stock required.
    • Make sure you know the reasons behind any long term out of stocks such as supply issues, so that you can share this information with your customers.
    • Your EPoS system will help you monitor the rate of sale of a product and determine which products need ordering.
  • Ensure products on the shop floor are priced correctly.
    • Your pricing tickets should be labelled on or under each product.
  • Clear counter unit in preparation for opening.
    • Your counter shouldn't be cluttered, and must be easily accessible.
    • This is usually the last interaction your customer will have with the pharmacy before leaving so is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression.
  • Log in to your till system ready for the day to begin.

Cleaning and maintaining the shelves

The pharmacy is a clinical space and should be professional to represent the values of the business. Customers expect shelving to be clean, tidy and well maintained.

  • Floors should be cleaned every evening, hoovered and polished if necessary.
  • Wet cleaning
    • should be completed at least once every other month
    • or each time you adjust your shelving space.
  • Equipment for cleaning:
    • Two buckets - one for clean water, one for rinsing cloths
    • Cloths
    • Multi-surface cleaner - liquid or spray
    • Scrubbing brush
    • Nylon scouring pad
    • Paper towelling or absorbent cloths
    • Dusters
  • Clean from the top shelf to the bottom to avoid dripping on clean shelves.
    • Clean with soapy water and then dry with paper towelling before returning the stock to the shelves.
  • Dust stock before returning to shelf according to your plans.
    • Stock should be neatly displayed.
    • Avoid overcrowding shelves with stock as this can cause them to look cluttered and unappealing.
  • Shelving should be dusted daily to avoid build-up of dirt. Some areas such as bath and haircare can be prone to spillage so check these areas each day for any mess. This makes wet cleaning much easier to complete.

You should regularly date check your products. Work out a regime to ensure each category is checked at least once a month. When re-stocking your shelves on a daily basis, try to put older stock towards the front of the shelf to avoid reaching the expiry date before making a sale.

Promotions and point of sale

Promotions should be impactful with point of sale (POS) appropriately displayed and promotional bays fully stocked. POS should be securely attached to the fixture using appropriate display tools such as shelf edge strip and shelf talker holders. This prevents hazards, such as POS falling to the floor, and ensures attractive display of your promotional POS.

Monthly promotional changeover

  • Remove and dispose of all previous point of sale and promotional material.
  • Remove any remaining stock from the promotional gondola end and display in their regular location on the shop floor.
  • Clean windows and gondola ends in preparation for new point of sale and promotions to be displayed.
  • Create a space for your promotional stock and build an attractive display using the stock and point of sale available.
  • Add point of sale to your gondola ends and label products with the correct pricing ticket.
  • Display your window posters to advertise promotions to potential customers outside the pharmacy.
  • Change pricing on your till system to match the promotional prices on your point of sale.

Selling Skills

  • Politely acknowledge all customers where possible.
  • Smile often, customers love smiley interaction.
  • Ask customers if they need assistance, applying sensitivity where necessary.
    • Some retail categories require more sensitivity than others such as incontinence or women's intimate health.
  • Ensure you fully understand the customer's requirements by asking plenty of questions.
  • From this, make relevant product recommendations and advise accordingly.
  • Give the reasons for your recommendation.
    • Try to link your recommendations to personal experiences where applicable. For example, if a customer is asking for a shampoo it may be that you have found one that you find particularly appealing.
  • Don't push, only make suggestions and advise. Customers can become frustrated if they feel they are being pushed to buy something without showing an interest.
  • Deal with complaints professionally and politely.
    • Consider your opinions if you were a customer with the same concern.
    • Customers can become frustrated and react in an out of character way. Deal with this sensitively.
    • Try to come to a conclusion to redeem the situation.

Customers expect a certain level of cleanliness and service from your pharmacy, so it is important to meet these by keeping on top of basic housekeeping.

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Retail & merchandising