August 6, 2016

Produced in collaboration with Drug Store News

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

Many great front-end programs this year! The NCPA Annual Convention is packed with expert and peer-led sessions to help you grow your business, including your front end.

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

Create a "Dorm First Aid Kit" to Grow Sales

Most college students prepare to leave home for college this month. Many pharmacies will take steps to make sure that college students will not have to transfer their medication needs. But what about their OTC needs? Prepare and hang at least two large signs that read, "Dorm First Aid Kit Available Here." Then prepare business-size cards that read, "Great Item for Dorm First Aid Kit." The signs should be placed in front of items like hand sanitizer, lip balm, hot & cold packs, bandages, lozenges, cold & flu medicine, upset stomach & diarrhea medication, thermometers, vitamins, pain relievers, and deodorant. You can offer these as individual items displayed in their traditional home on the shelf, or as a pre-selected kit on an end-cap (be sure to add a sign!).

'Tis the Season for Flu Shot Promotions

August is an ideal time to start heavily promoting the availability of flu shots at your pharmacy. Not only is it National Immunization Awareness Month, it's also back to school time, when families begin preparing for the fall. Flu shots should be considered part of back to school preparations. Hang large banners on the exterior of your store and/or include short messages on your digital sign reminding customers that flu shots are available at your pharmacy. Hang signs throughout your store and especially at the pharmacy pick-up counter. Direct staff to remind customers during transactions about the flu shot services your pharmacy provides. For sign/banner inspiration, check out the Overhaul of Fame (Signage gallery).

Back-to-School Merchandising Opportunity

Create a "Back to Sports" end-cap with braces and wraps, hot/cold therapy items, mild pain relievers, and bandages. Anticipate your sports brace/wrap needs by talking with school athletic directors or coaches about the brands they prefer. The most important part of the display? You guessed it: THE SIGN.

Try Before You Buy! Free Samples Available from Some Front-End Marketplace Vendors

A number of Front-End Marketplace vendors are offering you a chance to try out their products to see if they would be a right fit for your pharmacy. Don't pass up this opportunity to sample the unique goods offered through Front-End Marketplace—we're sure you'll find the products to be welcome additions to your front end. NCPA's website is your front-end connection to products that help you stand out from the competition. From skin care to pet care to snacks and more, you will find the kind of niche products that your customers are looking for and most of which you cannot find through your drug wholesaler. Try some free samples today.

* More from Drug Store News & HRG *

OTC Category Reviews: Trends, Allergy, VMS, Eye Care and more—August 2016

What's trending now overall in OTC aisles, as well as in-depth sales activity in the allergy; vitamins, minerals and supplements; eye care; wearables; incontinence; adult nutrition; and lice treatment categories, highlighting products that are transforming OTC, in this multi-page report. Read more...

America Voted, And The Next Flavor of M&M's Hitting Shelves Is ...

Starting in August, the Coffee Nut flavor will join M&M'S Original Peanut, which was first introduced in 1954, on shelves at retailers nationwide. Fans can purchase M&M'S Coffee Nut at retailers nationwide in early August. Read more...

Enter Your Store Through The Front Door

When is the last time you came in the front door of your store when it's open for business and really looked at it as if you were seeing it for the first time? Try to take a moment to be mindful of what your customer sees and feels. Read more...

Don't Forget

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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