June 30, 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 *

Take a lesson from Prilosec OTC

There are signs that in the near future there will be an increase of RX drugs transitioning to over-the-counter. This trend will continue to raise the importance of the front-end bringing additional cash sales. In preparation, look back to the time when Prilosec was introduced as an OTC item.

The best approach to prepare for an influx of new OTC items is to first understand your point of sale system. When Prilosec OTC hit the shelves, many stores inadvertently priced all three sizes of the product at Manufactured Suggested Retail Price, a retail that was much higher than the competitors in all classes of trade. Shortly after, the price was updated to lower competitive retail.

If doing OTC price changes is not on your priority list then you will find yourself sending a message that your store is expensive to shop. Gabe knows of stores who left the MSRP on Prilosec for over a year, and the top-selling product just sat on the shelf. Confirm today with both your POS provider and wholesaler on what the time lapse is for applying a competitive retail price to a new item. Many medications when first introduced as an OTC item will be shipped in a counter or floor display. Be aware that most product shipped in a display will come with incorrect retail stickers or no price stickers!

Set a policy how your team is going to handle competition and or manufacturers coupons on new OTC items.

Be prepared to introduce new items into the correct category! Planograms are updated once a year, it will be up to you to make room to place the product where it goes. For example, if the digestive category is updated in June and the new product for that category becomes available on July 13th, unless there is a special update, you won't be instructed as to where to place that item until the following year! Merchandisers put their effort into creating the space needed to display product in its proper place, not simply put it where there is room. I have found Prilosec OTC on the bottom shelf of an antacid Laxative section next to the Fleet enemas, simply because there was room there.

And don't forget the signs

Make sure to order your "New Item" signs! New items signs do two jobs, first they bring attention to a new entry, and second they signal to customers that the store is keeping up to date with new products. Welcome new items with competitive pricing, proper placement and signage.

* Front-End Marketplace Vendors of the Month *

Save 10% on July Vendor of the Month – GORP Energy Bars

GORP Energy Bars are an all-natural protein bar, handmade on the Canadian Prairies of a family farm. These energy bars are packed full of whole, healthy ingredients without containing soy, dairy, whey or added gluten. GORP bars are also re-sealable – the only energy bar with this feature! Order this healthy snack from the Front-end Marketplace in July to get a 10% discount.

Last Chance – Celeste Stein Designs great sale prices until July 15

The NCPA Front-end Marketplace Vendor of the Month for June, Celeste Stein Designs, is running a great sale 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.

* More from Drug Store News *

Study examines how retailers can compete with online rivals

Only 53 percent of U.S. citizens report trusting in the healthcare system, which has dropped 9 percent in only one year. Consumers are increasingly seeking local retailers to fill this void by helping them to live healthy lifestyles. In fact, 9-out-of-10 consumers report a desire for retailers to be more involved in their personal wellness. Read more...

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 gabe.trahan@ncpanet.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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