Is it time that independents gave up on retail and instead concentrated on the professional side of their businesses? Ross Ferguson investigates.

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Retail future

The way people shop has been evolving and retailers (including independent pharmacies) need to keep up with the shopping trends.

This fact has now been take on board by multinational furniture retailer IKEA, which hitherto has been slow to respond, but now offers a click and collect service.

Above all, listening to what patients want and playing to pharmacy’s strengths is key, as well as ensuring you use all the key merchandising tips to make it easier for patients to navigate your fixtures.

Maybe it’s time to consider how you can reverse the downward trend in pharmacy retail sales and boost your professional image at the same time.

[box type="success" ]  * Pass on discounts you get to your customers

* Control stock carefully ­– products sitting on shelves cost money

* Incentivise a member of the team to responsibility for retail area

* Listen to patients

* Know which categories are in growth

* Tie in displays to capitalise on health promotion events

* Utilise a gondola end to highlight promotional offers to demonstrate how you can be competitive on OTC products. Ensure this is refreshed every month.

* Stock leading brands and own label

* Think about link products and create an environment that encourages link selling

* Use professional, effective POS to highlight categories and promotions

* Create a one-stop feature for categories eg for travel, by including everything your patients may need on holiday.[/box]

Join us again tomorrow for our final instalment where we publish retail case studies.