Navigating the Holiday Rush: A Comprehensive Guide for Community Pharmacy Owners in Australia

Shutterstock 430087837 Sml   News Update

The holiday season is upon us, and for community pharmacy owners or managers in Australia, it's not just about spreading festive cheer - it's about strategically preparing for the peak season that can make or break businesses. In this blog post, we'll delve into key trends, actionable strategies, and considerations tailored to the unique challenges faced by pharmacy businesses during the holidays.

Holiday Trends in Australia: Understanding consumer behaviour is crucial for success during the holiday season. In light of the cost-of-living crisis, consumers are expected to shift towards 'necessity spending.' This includes a focus on meaningful gifts and high-value products, such as technology and gaming consoles. According to a survey by Sitecore, Australian shoppers are likely to purchase fewer gifts, with a preference for Australian-made products and ethical small businesses. Online shopping continues to dominate, comprising 27-30% of total retail sales.

Strategies for Holiday Success:

  • Scheduling Holidays:

    • Determine your annual holiday shutdown period or operating hours well in advance.

    • Consider factors like public holidays, extended operating hours, closure, reduced capacity, and the need for additional staff or Christmas casuals.

    • Look ahead to mid-January and into February and what your roster could look like and encourage your team members to request annual leave then.

  • Customer Engagement:

    • Begin preparations early by offering sales, discounts, and perks to loyal customers.

    • Host giveaways, promotions, and networking events to boost engagement.

    • Consider seasonal discounts or gifts with purchases to attract and retain customers.

  • Supporting Employees:

    • Recognise the challenges faced by employees in busy industries like retail pharmacy.

    • Create realistic schedules, provide additional breaks, and organise team activities to support employee well-being.

  • Ensuring Safety:

    • Follow work health and safety protocols for workplace events and decorations.

    • Assess and update work health and safety policies to ensure a safe festive period, as busy periods can lead to fatigue and increase the likelihood of minor tripping incidents for example.

  • Community Engagement:

    • Embrace the spirit of giving by supporting charities or organising donation drives.

    • Motivate customers and clients to engage with your business by matching their charitable contributions.

Being Prepared for the New Year: Use the holiday downtime wisely to reflect on your business's performance and plan for the upcoming year. Consider aspects such as product / service reviews, client engagement, staffing challenges, website updates, and anticipation of potential issues in 2024.

Business Owner Responsibilities: Remember to wear your various hats responsibly. Address critical aspects like reviewing sexual harassment policies, staying updated on minimum wage regulations, and understanding public holiday entitlements for employees.

By implementing these strategies and staying informed, community pharmacy owners can navigate the holiday rush successfully and set the stage for a prosperous new year.


  • Sitecore Survey: Link

  • Australian Retail Statistics: Link

  • Workplace Safety Guidelines: Link

  • Charitable Giving Trends: Link

​Since 1987, Raven's Recruitment has been specialising in Pharmacist recruitment, so we have expert knowledge in the space. If you are looking for an exciting opportunity to work as a locum pharmacist or want a permanent job, then look no further - get in touch with our Recruitment Consultants today.​​​​​​​​​​