August 3, 2019

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

Something for you to Digest

Here is how you can find out how your front-end stacks up against your peers! Complete the eight-minute annual census survey and tell us about your pharmacy and front-end products. All responses will be combined to be published in the NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, which will be released at the NCPA Annual Convention, Oct. 26-29, in San Diego. The Digest is the go to resource for information about what is happening in independent community pharmacies.

Put vitamins in their place

Are your vitamins in front of your pharmacy bench? If you are filling more than 150 scripts a day and have less than 6ft between the shelves in front of the pharmacy bench and the nearest end-cap/fixture then it is time to relocate your vitamins. Customers tend to crowd the front of the pharmacy area and unintentionally hide your vitamin department, hampering impulse sales. Consider moving the vitamins to be in line or across from your cough and cold section. Merchandise the area where your vitamins were with the Stomach/Digestive category (Antacid and Laxatives). People in need of antacids and laxatives products will ask for them if they can't find them.

I like to move it, move it

My friend Heather was sharing that prior to a remodeling project she had marked the new location of the fixtures that she would be moving with blue tape. After looking at the tape she and the rest of staff had second thoughts, "What if the customers did not like the move?" Three days later she went on with the move, and the customers loved the new wide aisles and room to shop. Customers do not always embrace change but they always appreciate improvement! Is it time to improve your floor plan?

Lice, Lice, Baby

Back to school, back to wearing hats and back to worrying about headlice go hand-in-hand. Today is a good day to check the expiration date on headlice treatment. Due to the gap in the peak of the selling season of headlice treatment products it is commonly found to be short-dated or outdated. Remember to cross merchandise the treatments in both the haircare section and first aid. Consider displaying a few of the products near the checkout area along with a small sign, "Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it."

What's your priority, returns or sales?

And I quote, "Hey Gabe, I want you to know that one on the shelf of everything does work for us at our store." Seriously? I asked, "How are your OTC sales?"

Answer: "We don't sell much but that's ok, at least when product goes out-of-date we have little to send back." Sigh, I rest my case. Only having one of everything is not inventory control it is a sales growth preventer!

Sell what they're buying

Durable Medical Equipment, just the name sounds scary. Keep in mind that when you sell DME products you are selling safety and comfort. Consider renaming your DME section to "Home Safety and Comfort Center."

* Front-End Marketplace Vendor of the Month *

Can you see what I see?

I see a deal you can't refuse from our August vendor of the month – Franklin Eyewear. This company uses a color-coded sun and reading glasses program made specifically for independent pharmacies that makes reordering simple. Order from now through September 15th to receive FREE SHIPPING on ALL ORDERS, and a FREE FIXTURE with an order of 144 pairs of glasses.

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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