January 19, 2019

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

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

Thanks, keep the change

Do you do what I do? We have a glass jar in our pantry at home that we drop our loose change into when we have it. I am always a little surprised how much it adds up to whenever I get around to turning it in for real money. Change can add up to real money in your business too. Here are some examples of things I've seen, and you should look for, that over time will add to your bottom line:

Purchasing Deals

Whether you are purchasing a deal from Front-end Marketplace Vendor of the Month (see Warmies below) or any time you receive a one a time reduction in the cost of goods; keep the change. Keep the change in the profit margin that the discounts created – no need to pass on the savings to the consumer. It's a wise business practice; there is a good chance that when you reorder you will not get the same discount, then you will have to explain to your customers why the price suddenly went up.

Pricing Options

In what some consider the good old days it was common practice to end OTC retail prices with a choice of ending with a 3, a 5 or a 7. Others used a 3, a 6 or a 9. I say go all 9s! No one is going to put a product back on the shelf because it went from 3, or 5 or a 6 or a 7 to a 9! Pennies add up, keep the change.

Invoice Terms

Check your invoices for a discount offered if paid within a certain amount of time. We all have seen it: 2% discount if paid within 10 days. If the cash flow is there, do it, money in the bank rarely returns 2% at an annual rate, let alone in 10 days. Just remember the 2% is yours, not to be passed on to the consumer, you keep the change.

Each Prices

Are you carrying the popular bag candy that in big letters the bag reads "2 for $1.50" and in smaller letters "or 89¢ ea."? Confirm that when one bag is purchased your POS or cashier charges 89¢. The profit margin on a bag sold at 2 for $1.50 price is good for the manufacturer not so much for the retailer. Keep the change.

Clearance Deals

When liquidating merchandise and you are tempted to go with a deep discount of 75% off, try "Buy One at the regular price an get two more free!" Here is the math; if an item regularly priced at $4.00, sells at 75% off, the retail is $1.00; if a customer buys three, total sale is $3.00. If a customer buys one at regular price and gets 2 more free, total sale is $4.00. (People love the word free!). Keep the change.

* Front-End Marketplace Vendor of the Month *

Soft and Snuggly: Warmies

This month, stock up on these huggable, snuggable, and lovable plush toys. These stuffed animals are microwavable and smell of soothing lavender when heated. They are a perfect comforting remedy for cold and flu season. Take 10% OFF and receive FREE shipping when you order an assortment of 24 or more Warmies (at least $240) this month. While you’re at it, be sure to check out other vendors on www.frontendmarketplace.com for additional cold and flu fighting products.

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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