May 5, 2018

Produced in collaboration with Drug Store News

News, products, marketing and merchandising tips for the
front end of community pharmacies

* TIPS From NCPA's Front-End Guru, Gabe Trahan *

Rack it up for summer

Do you have summer merchandising plans for your greeting card racks? One option it is to merchandise card racks with general titled summer cards. A better choice may be to merchandise something other than cards in the racks! Create new awareness of your gift bags, adult/children's coloring books, boxes of crayons & markers, children learning workbooks, storybooks, Sudoku/word puzzle magazines, and local interest books. Check your gift categories, artwork, painted signs, photo frames, and framed posters, all of these items look great while being positioned upright in a card rack.

Who got chocolate on my card section?

Old but reliable Mother's Day merchandising tip... Merchandise 1lb box chocolates in your card racks by standing them up lengthwise in a card pocket. You may just end up selling more candy form your card department then you do in your candy section!

Make sure generic OTCs are priced as you intend

Generic allergy OTC medicine flying off the shelves? Maybe flying off too fast? Check your retails! Gabe was just in a store that was selling large quantities of generic 30-count Zyrtec. The retail was $3.99 the brand was $24.99. How did this happen? The generic Zyrtec was a generic brand that was not part of the primary wholesalers private label line; and because of that, the item was not included in the zone pricing list of products. Wholesalers generally offer zone pricing for one label of generic OTCs. The $3.99 retail was formulated by a default formula of a 25% profit margin. If you find yourself in a similar situation you can correct this pricing problem two different ways: Locate and mirror the retail of your wholesaler's private label equivalent for that item. Or you can subtract 25% from the brand equivalent price and round the retail up to end with .99.

Making the most of magazines

Are you in the business of selling magazines? Take a few minutes today and check your profit margin. Is it more than 10%? If it is less than 10 and you cannot prove for certain that carrying magazines attracts new customers or make your present costumers very happy, then it is time to get rid of them. If you decided to maintain a magazine section then remember the merchandising rule for magazines, less means more sales! If the covers of the magazines hide more than half of the magazines next to it then it is time to pare down your selection. Start with the odd and unfamiliar titles. You can live without titles like PRO: Portable Restroom Operator, Cranes Today and Miniature Donkey Talk (no jokes, these are real titles). Start pulling titles that say Special Spring edition, Deluxe Edition, Spring /Summer edition and any that ask you to leave them on the rack to the end of Summer. Some magazine distributors are encouraged by publishers to keep certain titles on the shelves for months at a time. If they don't sell in the first 3 weeks they most likely won't sell at all. Send them back early and collect your credits. Magazines seem like a harmless guaranteed sale category to have, but without some monitoring it can be a costly and lengthy use of capital.

* Front-End Marketplace Vendor of the Month *

Check out this great counter display of RockTape

Jump on a trend that is on an upswing! RockTape is the world's best kinesiology tape used to treat sports and non-sports injuries, including shin splints, plantar fasciitis, runner's knee and back pain. Purchase the counter display; it will do the selling for you! No minimum amount required to place an order! Learn more and get merchandising tips here.

* Free Hotel Night in Atlanta *

Don't do a big gift show alone

Add WOW to your front end, talk with NCPA's Gabe Trahan, AND enjoy a great perk of NCPA membership – one night's hotel stay for free! That's right ... NCPA members who attend the Atlanta International Gift Show (Gabe will be there July 11&12) ... are eligible for one free night's stay, but you've got to claim your room by May 18. Enjoy a cup of coffee and pastry at morning huddles while networking with Gabe and superstar gift merchandiser and buyer Jonathan Oliver. Attending the show is FREE, too.

* From Drug Store News and HRG: *

A stylish OWL who curates your supplements

The Supplement OWL (Online Wellness Library), the dietary supplement product registry, is an industry-wide, self-regulatory initiative designed to help regulators, retailers and other industry stakeholders get a better understanding of the supplement marketplace. The Supplement OWL allows users to identify products, their labels, ingredients, dosages, precautions and the companies who market them. For retailers, it’s a new tool to curate their assortment; a label’s presence in the Supplement OWL is a clear indicator that the product allows consumers to be informed about what’s inside. Retailers should ask themselves if they really want to offer customers a product that won’t hold itself accountable by being in a public registry of the market. Read more...


Don't Forget

Being a member of NCPA means you have access to a treasure trove of helpful hints, tips, and resources to make your front end more profitable! Download One-Pager Tips on a variety of topics. Gabe typically posts a tip once or twice a day on his Twitter account — if you're on Twitter, give him a follow at @NCPAGabe. You can also find tips in Gabe's monthly column in America's Pharmacist. The Overhaul of Fame galleries contain hundreds of photos to inspire you, from effective signs to successful end-caps and everything in between. Finally, you and your staff can access several staff training videos that will help you take an objective view of your store, both inside and out!

This wealth of knowledge is due to the fantastic photos, ideas, and suggestions we receive every day from NCPA members like you. Drop him a line at with your questions, photos, best advice, and recommendations. What's selling well in your store? Let us know.

"Profit Makers" is produced by NCPA in collaboration with Drug Store News

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