Stranded on impulse island

23Feb12

My local pharmacy recently went through yet another remodeling. Even though the store is only two or three years old, the powers that be have already shoehorned in a big grocery section, raised the shelf heights, and most recently, replaced most of the registers with self-checkout kiosks.

However, the self-checkout transition has created an awkward merchandising issue. Like most pharmacies, they have always offered a dizzying array of chewing gum, candy, and other impulse-buy items right at the checkout area. But when they closed many of the checkout counters and replaced them with kiosks, the impulse items got left behind.

In other words, there’s a wide selection of traditionally impulse-oriented products stacked below a bunch of signs directing customers to the self-checkout area. Aside from a few confused stragglers, this area gets very little foot traffic. Accordingly, I suspect that sales of gum, candy and related products have dropped considerably since the changes were made.

Ideally, the store would find a way to move those impulse items closer to the actual point of sale, which in this case means the self-checkout kiosks. Or, the items could be placed in a central location that’s clearly visible no matter which kiosk a customer chooses to use. Either way, it makes little sense to keep impulse items stranded in an area that customers don’t frequent. By moving these products to a location with greater foot traffic, sales should track a lot more closely to the good old days, when shoppers could always count on finding impulse buys right next to the checkout line.



No Responses Yet to “Stranded on impulse island”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s