News, products, marketing and merchandising tips for the
front end of community pharmacies
* TIPS From NCPA's Front-End Guru, Gabe Trahan *
"End-Caps don't work for us." A real quote.
End-caps aren't supposed to work for you; you have to work for them. In big box and department stores, end-caps are rumored to be responsible for as much as 75% of sales! A well-merchandised end-cap strength is churning up impulse purchases. Unlike window displays, end-caps are not designed to be "pretty". Instead, they are meant to be well stocked and to sell product. Pretty is easy, well stocked, not so much. Some have thought that if you wrapped shelving and pegboard with pretty paper, then that would fix everything. Actually, this is what you really have to do:
Choose a theme, for example, Skin Protection focusing on sunblock, sunburn relief, and insect repellents.
Prepare a sign that spells out the benefits of the product on the shelf, "Keep your skin looking Young". Place the sign on a shelf before you merchandise the end-cap!
Order enough merchandise to have the end-cap looking full. Double or triple face product, and go two deep. It only takes nine pieces of an item to triple faced and be three deep.
Think Big! Merchandise product by price not by size. Forget the old "little things on the top, big items on the bottom, that is so 70's. It's highest price item(s) at eye level and lowest price product on the bottom. Better to have a customer miss seeing the lower priced items than miss the good stuff.
Slant the base shelf and the shelf above it to give the smaller items a better presentation. Better yet, keep the low priced items off the end-cap.
When it comes to seasonal displays and end-caps, consider duplicating the bottom shelf and the shelf above it to look identical. End-caps perform two jobs, they make first impressions and create extra sales.
I have so many end-caps
Does your store have more than six end-caps? If you are like most, you have a hard time keeping them looking good. Here are some easy fixes:
Use an end-cap in the middle of your store for shopping baskets. People stop shopping when their hands are full, most people do not think they will need a shopping basket, and when they do, they are not sure where to find them. Make it easy, fill the space of an end-cap with handbaskets.
You can also replace an end-cap with a banner. Have a customized banner printed to hang at the end of an aisle that promotes your services; favorite vitamin line, recommended skincare, therapeutic shoes, compounding, free delivery, medication synchornization, flavored medication, you get the idea. We know of a store that has eight different banners and moves the banners around store gaining more attention with each move.
One last suggestion, remove all shelves and base unit from an end-cap, use 6" peg hooks and merchandised light compression stockings and hosiery. This will sell more compression items and create additional aisle space near the end of the aisle.
Send Gabe a Photo of Your New End-Caps
* Front-End Marketplace Vendor of the Month *
Don't miss Celeste Stein Designs great sale prices this month
The NCPA Front-end Marketplace Vendor of the Month, Celeste Stein Designs, is running a great sale this month on their popular therapeutic compression hosiery. Printed designs, solid colors and even the sales enhancing leg mannequins are all available at great prices for a limited time. Check them out and all the products chosen because of their potential to do well in community pharmacies.
Front End Resources for NCPA Members
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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