April 7, 2018

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 *

Consider adding a new niche line

Drug wholesalers cannot be expected to be everything to everyone. Finding niche items calls for some searching on your own. When considering a new niche line for your store, you need to determine if you can make a profit with the product. The cost of freight, size of the opening orders, minimum reorder quantities, space needed to properly merchandise, and required face time with customers to sell the product can all eat away at net profit. Download our one-page tips for strategies on purchasing, pricing, and merchandising a new niche line.

*To discover possible niches, visit www.frontendmarketplace.com. Make sure to read Gabe's merchandising and pricing tips before you place your order.

Prepare for donation requests ...

When it comes to donating, you need a budget and discretion. First, do your research to determine if the organization is worthy of your hard-earned money. Local groups are easier to identify; those calling or emailing are much more difficult. Having a budget for donations makes it much easier to say no to requests if you are not comfortable with them. Asking for a written donation request and proof of nonprofit status will certainly thin the herd. Create a checklist of questions to ask before opening your checkbook. Remember, donations do not have to be cash or a store gift certificate. Walk your store today and make a list of products that you can afford to give as a donation. Being rushed to donate is when things get expensive.

... and for ads, too.

"What did we do last year? Ok, let's do that again." You know how it goes. You are several prescriptions behind and someone with a clipboard is standing in front of you wanting to know if you are going to repeat last year's Mother's Day ad. Delegate a staff member to be in charge of the repeat ads and requests for donations. Start marking the dates people contact you for repeat ads – this information will come in handy to save you from being pressured into doing the same old thing year after year. Marketing and donations are expensive, and both should have a budget. Assist your new marketing supervisor by creating a checklist on what to ask before you say "Ok, let's do that again."

Give potential customers a call to action

No matter where you have put your marketing efforts, you must add the one of the following phrases: "It is easy to transfer your prescriptions to our pharmacy. Just call 802-222-2222 and we will take it from there." or "Call 802-222-2222 today to transfer your prescriptions and start enjoying a pharmacy that wants to be a partner in your good health." It is called a "call to action." Telling people how great your store is only does you good when you properly invite them to be a customer.

Please take me

An NCPA Ownership Workshop graduate tried Gabe's sidewalk test to see if old inventory was worth keeping. Before leaving for the day, new store owner Shahida C. put a gift item on the sidewalk. The next morning it was still there. She then put a sign up that read "Please take me." The item was still there the next day! Are you hanging on to merchandise that no one wants? Remember, merchandise that hasn't sold in 2 years is taking up space for a product that can sell. Shahida joked that her next sign was going to read, "If you steal one, you must take two more."

* Front-End Marketplace Vendor of the Month *

Get ready for summer with DRYPro

DRYPro Waterproof Body Protectors allow you to shower, bathe, and even swim with complete confidence! DryPro™ by Dry Corp, a high quality surgical rubber sleeve that fits over casts, bandages, ostomies, PICC lines, and prosthetics, offers complete waterproof protection. Its patented vacuum seal assures that a cast or bandage will remain dry, even when submerged in water. Learn more, get merchandising tips, and order a free sample here.

* NCPA Innovation Center's Front-End Overhaul *

Like Profit Makers? Live is bigger and better

Join Gabe for an intense, full-day course on how to attract new customers, keep them, and sell them more at the Front-End Profit Building Seminar, sponsored by Good Neighbor Pharmacy. 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 superior seller. Find inspiration from more than 500 photos showing how stores like yours have made more money. The program is designed for store owners, managers, and anyone who works in the front end. Special rates are available for team members. You will leave feeling motivated! The next one is in Clark, NJ on April 19th with fall dates in Little Rock and Boston. Learn more and register here.

Join NCPA's Gabe Trahan at the Atlanta Gift Show July 11-12

Meet up with Gabe and your peers at the Atlanta International Gift Show for a real-time experience on negotiating with vendors for the hottest gifts and merchandise that will add WOW to your front end. Enjoy a cup of coffee and pastry at the morning huddles while networking with Gabe and superstar gift merchandiser and buyer Jonathan Oliver. Attending the show is FREE and we worked out a special deal for a one-night complimentary hotel room for you to attend. (Note: completing the hotel registration form also registers you for the show.) Claim your complimentary room night by May 28.

* More From Drug Store News *

Immunity system boosters selling year-round

U.S. consumers are buying cough/cold products – particularly immunity system boosters – year-round, not just during the typical cough/cold and flu season. Ginger, turmeric, and ginkgo are all known as immunity system boosting supplements, and vitamins and supplements containing these ingredients have seen double-digit dollar growth of 13%, 17%, and 24%, respectively. 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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