September 24, 2016

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 *

Rethink How You Buy Halloween Candy

Let's face it: an independent pharmacy will most likely not have the best price in town on Halloween candy and may find it difficult to be competitive. Stores will be hard pressed to make a 33 percent profit margin (after freight cost). At such a low margin, it is very important you do not have much stock leftover on Nov. 1. The latest One-Pager Tip from Gabe tells you how to buy smart when it comes to stocking Halloween candy and how you should merchandise the candy on your shelves to maximize sales. People won't buy candy until October, but to be noticed and remind customers you sell it, get it out on shelves now.

Halloween Sales Are Hiding In Stores of All Sizes

Don't sell candy at your store, or competing with a dollar store? You can still find Halloween sales opportunities in cosmetics, hairspray, specialty treats like sugar-free or gluten-free candies, and non-candy alternatives like pens, pencils, stickers, and crayons. Create a "Halloween Safety Headquarters" end-cap stocked with batteries, flashlights, glow sticks/necklaces, and reflective tape.

Stores that sell cosmetics have an opportunity to unload the slower moving and/or discontinued colors as "Makeup for Monsters & Zombies"; the darker the colors, the better. Encourage makeup instead of a mask for safety reasons. Don't forget to include makeup remover and cotton squares with your display. Placing red and black nail polishes by the register can generate impulse sales. A sign reading "Don't forget the hairspray" near the makeup can lead to a nice add-on sale. (Here's a good chance to sell that one leftover tube of VO5 Hairdressing!)

Are You Ready?

I'm sure you are ready to answer all of these questions that customers are bound to ask: What do you recommend for a bad cough? A runny nose? A stuffed up nose? Congestion? A toddler's nighttime cough? But are you ready to fill the customer's needs? The cough and cold season is going to be around for several months. Do your customers and yourself a favor and order no less than a dozen of each of the items that you will be recommending. Do not let the inventory of each these products fall below six items. Remember, running out of a popular item is the same as asking your customers to go elsewhere.

Do you see each Profit Makers issue because someone forwards it to you? Do you know someone else who would benefit from receiving Profit Makers?

Pharmacy owners, front-end managers, staff and others can sign-up to receive their own copy for FREE at ... pass it on! Back issues can be found on this same webpage, too.

* More from Drug Store News

Probiotics Experiencing Double-Digit Growth

In 2015, according to our recently published Nonprescription Drugs USA and Natural OTCs: Impact of Non-drug Products on the U.S. OTC Market studies, the total market for probiotics is estimated at over $530 million, up above 15% since 2014. It is not uncommon for the category and some brands to achieve sales growth of 15% to 25% on a year-over-year basis. (Kline Group) Read more...

Use of Internet as Health Resource by 65+ on the Rise

While seniors are still lagging in their use of the internet as a health resource, that use is on the rise, Reuters Health reported Tuesday. "Among seniors who did use the internet, only 57% were going online for health information in 2003, compared to 80% in 2011, according to the findings published in Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences," Reuters wrote. "The proportion of internet-using seniors who bought medicine online rose from about 14% in 2003 to about 21% in 2011. And in 2011, 22% were contacting their doctors online, compared to 8% eight years earlier. (Reuters Health) Read more...

Lagging Front-End Sales? Gabe to the Rescue!

Join NCPA for a one-day seminar Oct. 14 in New Orleans, Nov. 12 in Edison, N.J., Feb. 17 in Orange, Calif., or March 25 in Dallas that gives you the know-how and tools to build store traffic, attract customers, and increase your front-end profits. Led by NCPA’s Gabe Trahan, the Front-End Profit Building Seminar will cover topics including curb appeal, floor plans and cross-merchandising ideas, inventory management tools, private label profit drivers, popular gifts, and more. Leave the seminar with an implementation tool kit you can start using immediately in your store. Register today and see your profits grow. Special rates for additional store team members, too.

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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