March 4, 2017

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 *

Early March Reminders

  • Walk around your store and ensure there is NO Valentine's Day product still out. If it is—get rid of it!

  • Boost inventory of allergy relief products—recent warm weather in most parts of the U.S. is increasing pollen and other allergens in the air lately.

  • Stock up on your inventory of batteries to promote for Daylight Saving Time March 12; don't forget the sign ("Time to change out the batteries in your smoke detectors!").

Turn Your Pharmacy into an Easter Basket HQ

It can be challenging to come up with gifts to fill an Easter basket. Take the guessing out of it by creating an Easter Basket Headquarters at your pharmacy. Aside from offering popular Easter candies (remember, stick to reliable favorites like pink or yellow Peeps, Jelly Belly jellybeans, Cadbury Crème Eggs, and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs, etc.), offer customers sugar-free and gluten-free candy options and non-candy items such as PlayDoh, Silly Putty, playing cards, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, markers, stickers, bubbles, nail polish, sunglasses, children's books, and plush Easter toys. Another idea: offer alternatives to baskets themselves. Beach pails and even open upside-down umbrellas work well and don't have to be discounted after the holiday. Important tip: the secret to selling Easter baskets is to never run out of grass. If you run out, customers will take their basket needs elsewhere. If you do not have 10 bags left over after Easter, then you didn't buy enough. Keep those shelves well-stocked!

Change Up Your Eye and Ear Care Categories

The eye and ear care category is normally updated in February and March. For better shelf spacing and an improved display of pegged items, consider using a smaller planogram size. Using the same space, replace a four-foot plan with a three-foot plan. With a little bit of product adjusting, you will be able to space out the shelves for better viewing. You'll also be able to eliminate the top shelf that is casting a shadow over the pegged items. You can use this technique with the shaving department as well.

3 Inventory Ideas:

  • Detox, stress relief & sleep help teas are seeing an uptick in sales.

  • More people are needing canes, but few are looking for boring black or gray colors. Time to pimp their ride with color!

  • More Baby Boomers (like me) are looking to make their home accident-free zones. Check your bath safety inventory.

* Great Resources Available from NCPA *

Learn Easy, No- or Low-Cost Ways to Transform Your Front End at a 1-Day School

It doesn't take an expensive renovation to transform your front end into a profitable powerhouse. All it takes is dedicated staff, creative ideas, and a strong plan. Learn how to craft your success plan to attract new customers, keep them, and sell them more by registering for the Front-End Profit Building Seminar, sponsored by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, March 25 in Dallas or Oct. 13 in Orlando, Fla. Discover how to build better end-caps, create your own floor plan with minimal expense, explore new trends and niches, improve your curbside appeal, sell more private label, and become a better buyer and a superior seller. Spots are limited—register now. The program is designed for store owners, managers, and anyone who works in the front end. Special rates available for team members.

What Have You Done for Your Front-End Selections Lately?

Resolve to offer at least one new product or gift line in your front end this spring to meet patients' needs and stand out from the competition. One website is all you need to find unique and distinctive front-end products to sell at your pharmacy: 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. Plus, NCPA has negotiated special discounts for you with many of these vendors. There is something for every pharmacy on Front-End Marketplace—find that special item for your front end today.

* More from Drug Store News and HRG *

Therapeutic Hair Care is the Key Subcategory Driving Sales in Hair Care

Hair Care is a steady category at independent pharmacies, and independents are the outlet of choice when it comes to therapeutic and medicinal hair products. Capitalize on sales for this category by implementing the most productive assortment of products your space allows. Read more...

Social Media Key to Connecting with Gen Z, But So Is Brick-and-Mortar

Move over millennials, Gen Z is snapping at your heels. And retailers should take note. Retailers looking to capture share of wallet and brand loyalty from Gen Z—the most digitally—and socially-engaged generation to date—need to step up their focus on new ways of engagement. But they also should pay attention to their physical stores. Read more...

OTC Trends Report—March 2017

DSN senior editor Michael Johnsen examines the hottest trends in OTC—including breakthrough brands and such growth categories as therables, sleep, allergy, cough-cold and more—in this multi-page report. Read more...

HappyOrNot Data Finds High Pharmacy Satisfaction

HappyOrNot said key drivers of patient satisfaction include staff friendliness, wait time, having a knowledgeable staff, ease of refill, cost competitiveness and the availability of wellness or preventive care options, among others. One key to driving customer satisfaction, according to a participating pharmacy owner, is having an engaged workforce. 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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