November 18, 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 *

Your Thanksgiving Weekend To-Do List

Before and after you enjoy that turkey, be sure to accomplish these important front-end tasks:

  • Prep "Makes a Great Stocking Stuffer" signs to place on at least 50 items throughout the store. Be creative — items like toothbrushes, lip balm, mini flashlights, etc. are great choices. If it fits in a stocking, it's a stocking stuffer. Get those signs up before you close on Wednesday.

  • Check return policies, update if necessary, and review with all employees. Be sure to post them in clear view at every register before you close on Wednesday.

  • Thank customers for shopping small on Nov. 25 during Small Business Saturday. Get free images for social media from NCPA here.

  • Plan to take good notes on your Thanksgiving weekend traffic and sales on Monday, Nov. 27. Did you have enough staff on duty? Do you need to shorten or extend store hours?

Items You Can Promote For Christmas Without Having to Discount Post-Holiday

  • Gift Wrapping Accessories: Red, green, silver and white bows from your card department, as well as glitter, glue, scotch tape, packaging tape from school supplies, money holder greeting cards, or store gift certificates.

  • Gifts You Can Pre-Wrap: Sell these items as holiday gifts and then, the day after Christmas, unwrap and place back on the shelf with no discount: boxed candy, fragrances, jar candles, jewelry, or individual plush toys (tie a bow on them).

  • DME: Tie a large, red bow on lift chairs and add a sign: "This Christmas, give them the best seat in the house." Do the same for fashion canes — add a sign: "Give them a splash of color!"

Decorate With Purpose

Decorating a store for the holidays can be fun, but in many cases, it is overdone. For an uncluttered look and for safety, keep all doors completely clear of decorations and signs. Limit the number of decorations on windows and do not create blind spots in front of your store. Use caution when hanging decorations from the ceiling; when the heating or cooling system kicks on, these decorations can start to sway and set off your motion-sensor alarm.

Keep all aisles wide open; do not let decorations crowd an aisle. If decorating a tree, place small items high enough so they cannot be reached by toddlers. (The best way to decorate a tree is with lights, nothing else — simple and uncluttered.) A good rule for decorating is "less is more." Resist hanging anything near the pharmacy counter that might obstruct the pharmacy staff's view of the sales floor.

Prep for Small Business Saturday Next Weekend

Don't forget to thank your customers for shopping small on Saturday and year-round. NCPA has created free social media and website images (member login required) to help small business community pharmacies get the most out of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25. You can also create custom downloadable materials for your pharmacy via the American Express website. Share with us on social media or via email at what you are doing to celebrate Small Business Saturday this year.

Treat Your Pharmacy This Holiday Season

NCPA's Your Daily Pharmacy Planning Guide features 365+ tips and reminders, just waiting to be put into action and waiting to make your life a little less stressful and lot more profitable in 2018. Order your copy of the 2018 Daily Pharmacy Planning Guide for only $29.95 for NCPA members (includes shipping) via NCPA's website or by calling 1-800-544-7447 (Guide runs December 2017 through January 2019). Your 2018 profits will thank you!

* TIPS From Digital Pharmacist *

How to Get Your Marketing Strategy Back In Shape

With the holidays around the corner, many of us may be thinking about how to enjoy the season of food and family without overindulging on too much on turkey or stuffing. As you might guess, moderation and making a plan is key to keeping your body healthy and your heart happy. Read more...

* Recognition for Making Your Pharmacy NICE-R *

LAST CALL: Have You Done Something NICE for Your Pharmacy?

The NCPA Innovation Center is spotlighting the best of community pharmacy branding and marketing and we want to feature your pharmacy. Winners of the 2018 NICE Awards will be featured in the March 2018 issue of America's Pharmacist®. Nominations are being accepted for eight award categories: best external or internal remodel, end-cap, sign, social media campaign, advertising/marketing promotion, public event, and customer convenience improvement. The deadline for entries is Dec. 1, 2017.

* Front-End Marketplace Vendor of the Month *

Free Shipping on American Provenance Deodorants

American Provenance's all-natural deodorants, personal care, and baby products are in style with the greater shift toward all-natural/organic living. Their deodorant line-up is scented with essential oils to create blends like "Pinups & Paramours" (coriander, mandarin, tangerine) and "Shotguns & Shenanigans" (peppermint, cypress, eucalyptus). Made without any metals, chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, fragrances or ingredients, you can count on American Provenance deodorants to catch your customer's eye and turn into sales. Order today through Front-End Marketplace and get FREE SHIPPING. Plus, get added to American Provenance's online store locator.

NOTE: Front-End Marketplace is now easier to use with embedded webforms to place orders from any device.

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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