Background Poplar’s Drug Store

Poplar’s Drug Store had grown its footprint significantly since Kim was hired. Once a small, regional player in Illinois, Poplar’s ownership turned its attention to becoming a nationally recognized pharmacy ten years ago. Of particular note were the two very large-scale acquisitions over the past five years, adding more than 1,000 locations and expanding its presence to several more states. Due to acquisitions, Poplar’s sales levels had increased dramatically, though profitability had lagged because of integrating, logistics, and rebranding initiatives with the acquisitions. Though there were some 1,000 sq. ft. outlets that were strictly pharmacies, many of the stores were 12,000 to 15,000 sq. ft. in size and Chelsea was one of these. In addition to medically related offerings, the larger stores provided customers with a wide range of beauty care products; household items, such as paper products and cleaning supplies, and food items, including milk, a limited range of meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

As it became more of a household name, however, Poplar struggled to hold on to the local vibe and reputation for good customer service it once held. In an effort to standardize business across the fleet of pharmacies, Poplar’s management introduced a series of trainings all employees were required to take as well as a monthly scorecard with key performance metrics (KPM) by which each store’s performance would be measured. Metrics fell into two categories: one focused on customer satisfaction and the other on financial health. Customer satisfaction scores were generated from feedback surveys customers completed by filling out an e-survey or by calling a number provided on the bottom of their receipt. Customers completing a survey were given a coupon for a 10% discount on regular priced products.

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