December 5, 2015

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 *

It’s Peak Selling Season for Boxed Cards

Boxed holiday greeting cards will peak in sales now through Dec. 10. Keep your inventory well-merchandised and easy to shop. Assign an employee to neaten the section at least once a day between now and next weekend.

Become a Stocking Stuffer Headquarters

Anything that fits in a stocking can be considered a stocking stuffer. Place a small business card-sized sign (“Great Stocking Stuffer” or “Healthy Stocking Stuffer”) near items such as lip balm, sunglasses, batteries, candy bars, reading glasses, diabetic socks, sugar-free candy, crayons, and vitamins. Let your imagination go wild! Build a stocking stuffer end-cap just for college students who will be heading back to campus after the holidays. This could include a wide variety of items, from dental floss to shampoo to healthy snacks. Remember to sign it!

No Discount Necessary

Check your current store inventory for single gold, red, green and silver bows as well as scotch tape, red ribbon, batteries, and money holder gift cards. Merchandise these items for the holiday season by adding signage or creating an end-cap. No need to discount or store for next year after the holiday!

Ready for Returns?

Your store's return policy should be posted at every register. Be sure to review the policy with every store employee so there are no surprises.

The Holidays Bring Hugs, Kisses, and Sneezes

Prepare for the holiday sick season by fully stocking shelves of the most popular cough & cold products; ordering long before the product hits its peak demand; offering remedies and relief in the form of lozenges, day and night relief options, liquids, capsules, and tablets; creating end-caps and signage featuring ways to boost the immune system and counter displays offering natural alternatives and homeopathic choices; and displaying hand sanitizers at every pick-up, drop-off, and register counter (pocket-sized and larger bottles for the home).

* More from NCPA, Drug Store News and Hamacher R.G. *

Give Your Pharmacy the Gift of Profits This Holiday Season

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 (NCPA members)! Order today and start your holiday season off on a successful foot.

Harris Poll: Americans prefer generic Rx, OTC products

In the OTC category, 63% said they would choose a generic product more often than a name brand one, with 24% saying they always choose generics. Fifty-two percent of parents choose generic OTC products, but 63% of urban parents choose brand-name products, compared to 32% of suburban and 37% of rural parents who do.

Stock products from local companies

Stocking products made locally in your front-end is a win-win. You support your local economy in more ways than one, and you satisfy and attract consumers that appreciate and patronize businesses that are community-focused.

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 and Gabe's Gallery 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 the first of several staff training videos that we'll be rolling out over the coming months. These videos 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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