August 25, 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 *

Lessons from a banner

Click here and check out this cool banner! "Come in and Get Your Flu Shot Available Now."

Lesson 1: The word "now" is a very important part of this message. The word NOW in the world of marketing is referred to as a "call to action". Now implies urgency! Every form of marketing must have a call to action, it transfers your message from hinting to urging.

Lesson 2: Notice that the banner is attached to a car! Yup, in this particular town a banner on a car is stretching the local zoning laws on signage, but still remaining compliant. In some communities, banners can only be up for two weeks, others you can take the banner down for a few days and put it back up again, or you may be able to rotate the banner with a different banner with a slightly different worded message. I know of a store that had 4 different banners promoting flu shots all while being with in the zoning laws. Today, research the banner guidelines in your area. (Notice the call to action?) Tip: Ask to see the law in writing, it's all in the interpretation.

Lesson 3: Get the Shot not the Flu! Now, that is one heck of call to action. I'm not sure you need a picture of a syringe and needle, people will get the point without it.

Lesson 4: White letters on a dark background. Flu shot are the biggest boldest words! Perfect.

Lesson 5: Come in and get your flu shot available now! The message is 9 words. Statistics say that the most number of words a person can read while driving is... nine. That goes for billboards too.

Banners are just one of the many inexpensive effective marketing tools. I have more to share with you. Attention call to action: Meet me in Boston this October 6th. Sit up front!

Please don't do this

"Hey, Gabe I am STILL working on the end-panels. I believe we can make panels out of nice plywood for less money." Reply: I'm begging you not to do it. The homemade end-panels will be looking homemade for 20 years, the joy of saving money will last 20 minutes, maybe. Do not risk the professional look of your store in hopes of saving a few hundred dollars. Across the country, NCPA members have been improving their stores with a well-spent budget. Join me this October in Boston, and I will share with you how they are doing it.

Making Halloween candy sales their sweetest

Halloween can be either a trick or a treat to your revenue flow. It's easy to be impressed by "how much candy we sold!" Before you get too excited, be prepared to do the numbers. Brand name seasonal candy on average offers a 33% profit margin. When 75% of the candy is sold at full margin, and the remaining 25% is sold at 50% off, the actual profit margin for the candy sales is under 24%. Improving buying habits improves selling profits! Here is how to maintain a respectable profit margin on seasonal candy:

First and foremost: Resist training your customers to buy at the last minute, meaning, do not put your candy on sale before the holiday!

2nd: Trim down the assortment you inventory, stick to the top 5 proven sellers! (peanut butter cups, M&M's, Snickers, Hershey's milk chocolate, and Kit Kat)

3rd: Purchase less seasonal wrapped bags and more of the traditional nonseasonal bags. Traditional bags do not have to go on sale the day after the holiday.

Same as last year? No!

When people selling ads come and stand in front of your RX counter and ask, "We are putting together our holiday issue, do you want to do the same as you did last year?" Say no. It's time to change the message to something that will actually bring new customers into your store. Meet me at NCPA's Annual Convention this October in Boston for "Mastering Your Message: Marketing to Get New Business." There you will master the art of creating a better ad.

* Front-End Marketplace Vendor of the Month *

Special Offer! – Korean Skin Care is HOT!

Rootree Cryptherapy skincare product line is natural, chemical-free and formulated to exceed the highest quality standards. This unique Korean beauty skincare product line is "Made in the Forest Naturally" using only the purest natural ingredients to repair and restore skin to a healthy and youthful state. August Vendor of the Month Special: Meet the minimum order of only $260 and receive a Cryptherapy Renewing Cream valued at $29.00 free.

* More from Drug Store News *

First aid innovations spur category sales

Give consumers some credit. They are finding more and more ways to get hurt. Suppliers are eager to say that they are developing new bandages and ointments to help consumers take even better care of cuts, burns and other minor maladies. At the same time, a growing number of retailers are working to make it easier for consumers to find relief on store shelves. In addition, give suppliers as much credit. They are keeping pace with consumers in terms of new first aid items that treat these injuries. Not only is the population aging, but there also is an increase in the number of people with diabetes, and those two factors are driving growth in the wound care segment.

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 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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