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Thursday, November 20, 2014


If you want to sell a product, people need to know you have it available to sell.
Think about product placement. It's all marketing and psychology. 
Companies pay top dollar to have their products placed in strategic locations, whether it be end caps or eye level on store shelves. 
Remember the old department stores that had huge window displays? 
Think about car dealers. Chevy has the newest, shiniest Corvette sitting prominently in the showroom. You can see it from the street. You are invited to look at these products. You cannot help yourself. 

(CP, what the hell does this have to do with pharmacy?)

Many pharmacies have a window, glass wall, barrier, something between the pharmacy staff counter and the general population strolling around out front. Most pharmacies keep their fastest movers on this ledge...or maybe just their Amoxicillin, Percocet and Norco because they are the biggest frequent flyers. In every pharmacy I have worked, we have had a variation of this. I always find it a little amusing when the Powers That Be saunter through our department and chastise us for having these items in a prominent location. It's bullet resistant glass. It's nice to know you are more worried about an open bottle of Norco behind a window than you are about my safety behind open counters. 

To me, this is marketing at its finest. 
Remember not too long ago when the Hydrocodone products were on backorder? (Except at my store where we anticipated the shortage.) I figured proper product placement in the window was the perfect way to show people we had what they sought.

As people would walk by they would espy the pretty bottles of 512's and Norcos in the window. They'd begin to drool at the mere sight. Pavlovian response underway, they'd call all their friends and say: "Hey, guess what? We found that Norco you were looking for. It's right here in the window display under the Christmas tree with the turkey ornaments and menorahs. Come quick before they sell out!"

When corporate would ask why our numbers were up double digits in prescription sales we'd laugh and tell them about our Jolly Multi-Holiday C-II display…then they'd complain because the decorations weren't approved, we didn't suggestive sell flu shots to all of them and we only advertised low profit margin generics.

Seriously, though. What is the difference between having a bottle 8 inches in front of me, on a ledge, versus 3 feet behind me? Patients can see my entire pharmacy inventory as they walk by. Thanks to the open-concept floor plan, the only thing that doesn't flow through my pharmacy is the front end aisle. Listen to me Oh Great and Powerful Powers That Be: You cannot insist I close my door and keep select products under lock-and-key if you are going to leave 30 linear feet of waist-high counter open to the general public. You CLEARLY are not concerned about the safety and wellbeing of your employees. You are plainly telling me that the few dollars invested in a couple bottles is worth more to you than our lives. (No. It is not a safety issue. Someone doesn't just walk by, see some controls on a ledge and decide to rob the pharmacy.) For you, it is all about the inventory…which still makes no sense. It's like leaving your garage door up at night with the lights on and the door to the house ajar, but locking your bathroom door during your middle of the night micturition trip. 

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