December 15, 2018

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

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

It's not too late

We are approaching the last minute shopping time for Christmas. There is still time to create additional sales. Be ready to meet your customers' needs with these non-seasonal items: Scotch tape, Kleenex, immune boosters, batteries, non-seasonal candy candy like M&M's, Werther's, Brach's Starlight mints, Hershey's Kisses, and Mars' Miniatures. If you have a school supply section, then feature your Elmer's glue and glitter. From your gift, card and party department feature Red, Green and White candles, bows and tissue paper and have plenty of money gift cards on hand.

Put a bow on it

Grab a bag of Christmas bows and place a bow on any gift item that could use a bit of help to sell. Trust me on this, it works. For 40 years, close to Christmas, I've put bows on slow moving and even ugly gifts, and they sold. It may be 5 minutes before you close on Christmas Eve, but it's still a sale.

Spoiler alert

There are no elves living at the north pole making stocking stuffers! They are not needed. The truth is anything that fits in a stocking is a stocking stuffer. You still have time to put out 25 business card size signs featuring items small enough to fit in a stocking as a stocking stuffer. See example here. Use your imagination; put a sign on toothbrushes, hand creams, essential oils, candy bars, Gorp bars, Zollipops, colorful compression stockings, Warmies, Bee Bella Lip Balm, ToGoSpa and Moon Valley Lotion bars. Many can be found at They will sell all year long.


Christmas is on Tuesday this year as if Monday's aren't busy enough! You are going to need lots of staff on board! A few may not make it into work and the day may be busier than you think! You can always let a few go home early. Stagger the hours when staff are to show up for work. Keep in mind that not everyone should be going to lunch at the same time, of course. Oh, bring your deposit to the bank earlier than usual, preferably when it is still light out. Just for safekeeping, pull the larger bills out of the drawers on the hour every hour.

Quick question

What day did Christmas land on in 2017? One more for you: Was the drive-up window especially busy that day? Hard to remember, isn't it? Download Front-End Overhaul's Christmas worksheet here. Fill this form out on December 26th; it will make you a better buyer and merchant, driving better sales for next year's Christmas.

* Front-End Marketplace Vendors of the Month *

Essential Oil and Organic Skincare Products

This month is featuring two BRAND NEW vendors that offer unique skincare products which will leave your customers asking for more. Order today and stock up on gift items for Christmas and Valentine's Day.


Two Old Goats supplies lotion and bath products made from essential oils and designed to relieve over-worked, achy muscles and joints. During December, they are offering a great deal on two different Starter Orders. Both orders come with FREE shipping, samples and tester lotion – a more than $40 value.


Moon Valley Organics produces high quality, eco-friendly, organic lotions and soaps developed with the intention to nourish and heal the body, mind, and spirit. Order a minimum of $150 for FREE freight and a great profit margin of 50%!

* More from Hamacher Resource Group *

Connect with the Food Allergy Community

Approximately 15 million people in the United States have food allergies according to FARE, a leading non-profit dedicated to improving quality of life for those diagnosed with food allergies. One in every 13 kids has a food allergy and many often have two or more. Here are some ways to connect with and attract the allergy community in your area.

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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