March 30, 2019

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

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

Be ready to answer wound questions

It's nearly the end of March, the month that many stores update their first aid section and consider expanding or creating a wound care line. Wound care is viewed as a niche in that it is something that customers are not familiar with and guidance is often requested. Those looking for wound care will typically go directly to the pharmacy bench and ask for assistance; that is where your advantage takes place.

Urgency trumps price

When it comes to pricing first aid and wound care, the product in these categories are considered "blind items." Meaning that products are not price sensitive and are rarely shopped by comparing prices. Wound care and first aid purchases tend to have a sense of urgency; these categories have an exceptional respectable profit margin. Note: When it comes to adhesive bandages, it is important to stock the brand and the private label, some customers will insist on covering a wound with a brand they recognize.

Getting started

Here is a list of basic items to get you started in the wound care business, thanks to my friend wound care specialist Jack Dunn for his input. Simple saline for wound care, 2 & 4 inch gauze pads, sterile alcohol pads, 6" cotton-tipped applicators, ½" & 1" sensitive skin tape, ½" & 1" regular tape, 8x3" & 4x3" non-adherent dressing, 8x3"ABD pads, 4" and 2" wrap, 2x3" & 4x4" gauze pads and debriding liquid.

Tell people you have it

Marketing your wound care category is essential to your success. When you have a chance to talk to the doctor or someone from their office it is imperative to mention that you have wound care supplies. Follow that conversation up with a question: "Is there a line or brand that you prefer your customers to use? If so, tell me, and we will start stocking it for you. Note: Some wound care lines you will have to purchase directly from the manufacturer or open an account with a distributor that you are not familiar with. Use every opportunity to spread the message of your wound care section to nearby hospitals, wound centers, clinics, and orthopedic offices.

Give them the boot

Fellow Vermonter, Rick Hogle, RPh, shared that he was doing well with an Unna Boot, a compression bandage, usually made from cotton, that has been impregnated with a zinc oxide paste.

Wound care got him in the door

During last October's NCPA Annual Convention's "Wound Care: First Aid for Revenue" program, an NCPA member shared that Wound Care helped him get his foot in the door of assisted living homes. Offering to stock and deliver the wound care products that homes need regularly allowed him to start a conversation on filling the medication needs of the residences. Sounds like a great opportunity!

* Front-End Marketplace Vendors of the Month *

Last chance for March
TICK-Tock: There's still time!

Order at least $120 of product from Ticks-N-All or Nantucket Spider before April 15th and enjoy a 20% SAVINGS plus FREE freight. These brands offer all-natural tick and insect repellents that actually smell great and keep your customers and their pets bite-free. Create a “Summer Fun” section in your pharmacy to feature the products from our March and April vendors and merchandise along with sun care.

New for April!
An Itch You'll Want to Scratch

In April, get an itch for the deals our two vendors of the month are offering to help keep your customers from scratching the summer away. Annie Oakley's Don't Touch Me Outdoor Body Spray and Healing Tree's Go 'Way All Natural Insect Repellent are sure to stop pesky bugs from biting. Get 20% off and free freight on orders of $75.00 or more from either vendor (and this applies to their entire product line on the website!).

* More from the Daily Planning Guide *

Prepared for Allergy Season?

How's your local pollen count? Is your allergy section ready? Folks that use NCPA's Daily Pharmacy Planning Guide were reminded with tips like this every day. This year's version of our useful guide full of daily tips and reminders is still available through the NCPA Bookstore.

Front End Resources for NCPA Members

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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