September 21, 2019

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

All about the price tag

In the September America's Pharmacist article Busting Front-End Myths, I missed a myth. Here it is: "Our customers do not mind asking for the price on unmarked items." Seriously? Very recently I have witnessed people walk away after putting an item back on the shelf that had no price to be seen. Do not let your merchandising efforts fail from lack of a price sticker. Today, go hunting for anything in your store's OTC area that doesn't have a price on it. Pay special attention in the DME area; check floor and counter displays along with a particular focus on items that did not come from your primary wholesaler.

Get Your Flu Shots Here!

Banners displayed outside of the store promoting Flu Shots is a must for everyone. But not everyone can hang them outside on the storefront. Here are two other choices. Note, one involves dressing up as a hot dog.

Mark-up vs Margin

Attention all buyers and merchandisers who are in charge of formulating retail prices on items that do not come with sensible suggested retail. I say sensible because some MSRPs are over-inflated to make the profit margin look more attractive. Refamiliarize yourself with the formula and net profit difference between Markup and Margin. Click here to get my one-page info sheet on Markup vs Margin. It's super important!

A Basket Case

Something as simple as a well-placed stack of shopping baskets can quickly increase your front-end sales. Place a stack of four or more near an endcap seven to nine steps from the main entrance, some near the middle of the store and another few close by the pharmacy area. You will also want to place some in plain sight of bulky items like facial tissues, school supplies, humidifiers, and seasonal sections. Make sure to leave at least 4ft of open space between the stack of baskets and the opening of an aisle.

Private Label Time

The cough and cold season has begun! Let the private label (PL), also known as your preferred label, sales begin. Maintain no less than six each of your six best-selling cough and cold PL products. Designate one shelf behind or near your drop off or pick up area for your best-selling PL cough, cold, and pain-relieving items. Call it your "Pharmacist recommendations section."

Be there or be square

Excuse me, do you have 4.5 hours to spare? Specifically, on Saturday, October 26th, in San Diego? If so, sign up for the Front-End Profit Building Seminar. If not, I highly suggest you make time. We will start at 8 a.m., end at 12:30 p.m. and you will return home ready and armed to make your front end one of the best in the nation.

* Front-End Marketplace *

This sale is compressed on time

With high school sports starting again, you'll want to stock up on the new compression line from this month's featured vendor on Front-End Marketplace. Orthozone's Thermoskin Dynamic Compression line has targeted zones to help support muscles and is designed for everyday wear or weak/injured joints. Take advantage of ordering a limited time only prepack deal which includes free shipping. This deal disappears October 15th.

* More from Hamacher Resource Group *

Capitalize on Digestive Health trends to serve your customers and maximize sales

Digestive Health is a top category in sales at independent pharmacies. These tips will help you keep the department fresh and meet demand. 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 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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