February 20, 2021

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

WOUNDn't You Know

Are you looking for an OTC category with a margin as good as gifts? A category that the dollar stores will not touch, where Amazon is not a big player and where the chains struggle? Here it is… "Wound care." Warning, a 4ft section is not enough! You should be looking for at least an 8ft section. Use your primary wholesaler as your first source. Be prepared to purchase specialty items from the manufacturer. You will do exceptionally well if you detail doctors' offices, consult with wound care nurses and market to immediate/urgent care facilities. I'm told wound care nurses can help you with a list of items you need to have on hand. March is the month that most merchandisers will be updating their wound care. Maybe you should invest in a larger section?

Creative Merchandising

It is equally important to be a great sign creator as it is to be a great merchandiser. Being both makes you a rare and valuable find. Many signs appear to be a warning! Example "Aardvark 200mg COQ10, 30 count gel caps $39.99" The hidden message is "Yikes! 40 bucks? The focus of this sign is the price! Try this: "Taking medication for lowering your cholesterol? Ask our pharmacist if adding CoQ10 to your daily routine is right for you. A dose of CoQ10 costs less than a cup of coffee." Add a photo of a cup of coffee or, better yet, someone drinking a cup of coffee. There is no need to have a photo of the CoQ10 on the sign.

Small, but mighty marketing messages

Use these website, Facebook, and marketing taglines for smaller size stores: "We may look small from the outside, but we are a lot bigger than we appear! Along with the hundreds of items that we have in stock, we have 24-hour access to an additional 20,000 items! (psst! The 20,000 is in your wholesalers' warehouse). Here is one more: "Join our 10 step wellness program. Take 10 steps into our store, and you will be speaking to a pharmacist that wants to be a partner in your good health."

Early bird gets the worm

Some manufacturers are suffering a slowdown in production and delays in shipping. For that reason, you need to mark your calendars to order spring and summer products earlier than usual. Look to order tick removers, suncare products, insect repellents, itch relief, lip balms, sunglasses, antibiotic ointment, allergy relief, depilatories, hand sanitizer, instant cold packs, wrist and knee braces. Order them soon; better to have them on hand than to have a nasty back order report.

Products you love, now in a new place

Did you know that you can still reach the great products you sold from Front-end Market Place? Lines like Zolli Pops, Two Old Goats, Franklin Eyewear, Root Tree Korean Skincare, Celeste Stein lite Compression Hosiery, and Darby Farms Elderberry Extract, plus 40 other brands! Yup, everything from pet supplies to children's books to organic gummy candies. Visit RangeMe to get started. Click on the link on the top banner! Make sure to remind them that you are NCPA members!

What's weighing you down?

A good deal of my mail is from people asking how to expand their offerings to customers. My answer has always been, "Know what is on your customers' minds and see how you can help." The top four concerns are Anti-Aging, Stress, Energy, and Weight Management. If you are interested in investing in weight management. Here is where you will want to start.

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 gabe.trahan@ncpa.org with your questions, photos, best advice, and recommendations. What's selling well in your store? Let us know.

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