December 28, 2019

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

'Twas a successful season

Hopefully, by now you have had time to inventory the Christmas items you have left on the sales floor since Dec. 25. If not, use the last two days of December to complete as accurate inventory as possible on carry-over product. Once your clearance/sale period is over, take one more inventory of the final carry-over. The difference between your opening inventory and your inventory after Dec. 25 will give you true numbers of how successful your buying decisions were. Product sold at sale prices does not reflect true success.

Easy on the eyes

January is another month that is easy on merchandisers. It’s the time most stores look to update their Eye and Ear Care category. If you have a fixture that is 54 inches or shorter, the top shelf that is typically placed over product placed on pegs will be hard to see. It certainly will if you have a fixture that is only 48 inches high. The easiest fix for this is to use a 3-foot plan in the 4-foot section. With a little adjusting, you will be able to eliminate the top shelf, leaving the peg product at the very top of the display. The other option is to install all the pegged items on a power-wing. Or, you could remove eight of your slowest moving products in the plan, do some repositioning and use the new room for the items that were on a peg that can easily sit on a shelf. Place the remaining 4 pegged items in your travel section.

Safety over slipping

January is National Bath Safety Month. This is an event that you should promote on your website and Facebook page. A promotion to consider is free assembly (not installation) of commodes, shower chairs, and transfer benches.

Simple is still special

"Happy Valentine's Day to My Uncle" maybe a sweet card to buy, but not so great to have in your inventory. Order fewer specialty cards and order more cards that simply read "Happy Valentine's Day.” I know, seems too easy, I get that, but it works.

Sweets for your Sweeties

How did box candies sell for this past Christmas season? Did you see a trend of the larger size boxes, like 2lb boxes, slow down in sales? If so, it most likely will happen again for this Valentine's Day. Order accordingly.

Reserved for the best

When inclement weather hits the area, it is easy to forget that the best parking spots closest to the store are for customers, not staff. Remind your team that all year around the best parking spots are for your customers, even on weekends.

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.

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