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Retail sales - winners and losers

The latest Level 2 lockdown in Auckland and Level 3 alert for the rest of the country triggered a surge in retail spending in pharmacies last week. Sales peaked on Wednesday 12th August at +133% vs Last Year.

Daily Retail Sales Vs Last Year
Daily Retail Sales - source: RPM Retail data from 100 Pharmacies

Pharmacy retailing had been experiencing a sustained drop compared with last year due to the significant reduction in colds and flus in New Zealand. Last winter saw high rates of winter viral infections and pharmacies were busier than usual due to the increased foot traffic in their stores.

This winter, pharmacies have experienced higher than usual prescription traffic due to the monthly dispensing of all prescription medicines to protect the supply chain, instead of three-monthly stat dispensing. While this has been an opportunity for some community pharmacies to engage with their local customers more often, most pharmacies have struggled to cope with these higher dispensing volumes which generate little or no additional income.

The latest alert levels have once again triggered panic buying of medicines such as pain relief and medicated skin care products. These sales peaked at over100% higher than normal on Wednesday last week - but since Friday's announcement that the lockdown will not extend outside of Auckland they have fallen to lower levels again.

Auckland pharmacies will now be faced with the challenges of operating under lockdown - and this will impact on their ability to trade, and they will also be facing the stress of higher staffing costs, more complex communication with patients and doctors, and severely reduced income.

Contact me for further details of the retail sales for different pharmacy product categories and some tactics that pharmacy owners can adopt to help their business adapt to the "new normal".

Ph 0274 359848


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