June 2016 – How to Keep Your Checkout Area Organized
As any well-intentioned pharmacy owner or manager knows, one of the keys to having a successful operation is maintaining a store that is both clean and well-organized. This includes making sure that your retail store displays and shelving are fully stocked and organized with a certain amount of logic so that customers can find what they need without a lot of trouble. It’s been shown that some people will forgo the purchase of a particular item rather than having to ask where it’s located. Well-placed signs indicating each department can be a big help in creating an organized retail merchandising area.
Of course, it’s also extremely important that your store areas be kept tidy and free from any visible dirt or debris. Clients see pharmacies as places of health and cleanliness. Although you don’t want your store’s environmental ambience to feel sterile (such as with harsh lighting or cold, linoleum flooring), telltale dust on shelves or counters is a true giveaway that cleanliness is not a major priority to store staff.
What’s Being Overlooked?
While everyone may be making a hardy effort to keep things shipshape and appealing to customers, one area of the store that is often overlooked in this regard is the checkout counter. It can be tempting for some store owners to allow the checkout counter to become loaded with all kinds of extraneous items because, after all, this is one area of the store that everyone goes through, so why not make one last-ditch effort to get them to pick up some impulse item and stick it in with their other purchases?
Truth be told, this isn’t a bad idea, although the checkout area must remain organized to best serve its purpose. Retail store displays may certainly be installed in locations around the checkout counter where they can be easily accessed by shoppers waiting to check out, but the counter itself should be mostly clear of extra “stuff.” This way there’s plenty of space for buyers to put down their purchases and other packages as well as room to write a check or sign a credit card receipt. One item that should definitely be found on the counter, however, is a pen for customers to use. Best practice dictates that pens should be either attractively affixed to the counter or visibly identifiable as a “store” pen. Otherwise, they’ll likely disappear. The counter should be wiped down frequently during the day with a pleasant-smelling cleaner.
Specialized Countertop Retail Store Displays
Some prepackaged store displays are made for use on countertops and, on occasion, you may elect to feature these on your checkout counter. If these are tall enough to block the line of sight of the cashier, then they’re best when altered to be shorter. Behind the counter you should keep a good stock of bags for customer purchases that are neatly organized by size and placed for easy access.
Displays located near the checkout counter should be filled with impulse items like candy bars, chewing gum, magazines, etc. This is also a great location for seasonal items, such as holiday candy, and for frequently purchased items, such as pain relievers, sleep aids, and cold remedies. Another profitable tactic is to group items on a single display that naturally go together. Cold and cough remedies, for example, would logically be grouped with facial tissue, hand sanitizer, Vitamin C, and fever thermometers.
Keeping an organized checkout area gives customers one final good impression as they complete their visit to your store. Being well-organized here reflects positively on your entire business. Here’s hoping that your checkout counter stays plenty busy!
Robert is General Manager of Shelving Design Systems, Inc of Pell City, Alabama.
Shelving Design Systems (SDS) is a specialized retail and healthcare design-build firm. They create innovative spaces that improve efficiency and productivity—better layouts, smarter workflow, and more meaningful customer interaction—through use of the highest quality materials, design and space planning.
Contact Robert at 205-338-3737 or click here and leave a message and we will be sure he gets it.