October 29, 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 *

Take Notes on Your Halloween Selling Season

What a difference a day makes. With Halloween on a Monday this year, trick-or-treaters will be calling it a night a bit earlier due to school the next day, unlike a Halloween that lands on a Friday or Saturday. A Monday Halloween means there will be lots of children's and adult parties on Saturday night. As a result, history tells us there will be more costumes and makeup for adults sold and a visible spike in Halloween decorations. You may experience a small downturn in single-serve candy typically given out at the door and more sales in "dish" candy. Halloween in 2017 lands on a Tuesday. Sales for this year's Halloween season will be similar to 2017, so take good notes this year to allow you to be an even better buyer for 2017. More treats, less tricks.

P.S. - You may be wondering what exactly you should be recording for your sales notes. My new note-taking guide gives you an outline of notes you should be making for the Halloween season. It's not too late to start taking notes for this year's Halloween selling season, and definitely be sure to record your observations on Nov. 1. Keep this form handy for future years. Good luck!

Your Early November To-Do List

  • By Nov. 2, pack up Halloween cards and put out Christmas and Hanukkah cards, especially boxed cards.

  • By Nov. 5, schedule staff hours for November, December, and January. Keep in mind that the day after Thanksgiving is the last Friday of the month and there is a good chance the pharmacy is going to be busy; consider bringing in extra staff to help with drop off and pick up. Christmas and New Year's Day are on Sundays this year. Many will be wishing for the Saturday before and/or the Monday after off. (Tip: Review your call-in sick policy.)

  • Nov. 6: Check timers on exterior lights and signage for Daylight Saving Time.

  • By Nov. 12: Remove any leftover Halloween candy from shelves—send it back, eat it, donate it, or toss it—just get rid of it!

"I Hope I Break Even...I Could Use the Money"

A few years back when I was playing a Wheel of Fortune slot machine, the gentleman sitting next to me slid a large bill into the machine and then turned to me and said, "I hope I break even, I could use the money." I didn't know if I was supposed to laugh or wish him luck.

I got to thinking about how many times I have put myself or watched others put themselves in that same position while gambling with the revenue of a store. In my One-Pager Tip, I outline common gambles some community pharmacy owners take with inventory, advertising budgets, and revenue, and how you can avoid making the same poor bets. By following these tips, you won't need luck on your side to find success and profits in your pharmacy.

* Great Resources Available from NCPA *

New Year, New Profits

NCPA has created a comprehensive, 14-month planner to help pharmacies of any size boost front-end profits and manage a better business. Your Daily Pharmacy Planning Guide is chock-full of 365+ tips and advice on everything from seasonal end-caps to promotional signs to inventory management recommendations and more. Discover special theme-month marketing opportunities and access reminders to prepare for upcoming holidays. It's like having expert front-end help in your store every day for the low price of only $29.95 for NCPA members ($49.90 for nonmembers)! Guide owners also receive exclusive invitations to FREE quarterly webinars with NCPA's Gabe Trahan on how to use the Guide effectively. Order today and start your holiday season and the New Year off on a successful foot.

You Too Can Become a Superstar Merchandiser

Join NCPA for a one-day seminar 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, marketing strategies, 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.

* More from Drug Store News and HRG *

Report: Retailers Will Lose $50 Per Person in Shrink This Holiday Season

Strains on profitability manifest during the holiday season largely because of increased shrink and theft from internal sources—primarily via employee theft and other sales reducing activities—and external factors (primarily via shoplifting and organized retail crime). These loss increases place an enormous burden on retailers and, ultimately, on honest consumers who pay for it in higher prices. Read more...

Shave Report—October 2016

The shave category is trying to get its groove back. In this special report, DSN examines hot trends with in-depth analysis of sales activity in men's grooming. Read more...

Take Time to Assess the Sales in Your Diabetes Care Department

Make sure you carry all of the products your patients require to treat this condition and the additional issues it can cause. The diabetic population continues to grow at alarming rates. Now is a good time to reevaluate the size of your Diabetes Care department. 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 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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