March 6, 2021

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

A tip that never expires

Recent text: "Gabe, I just discovered 7 bottles of liquid Omega 3 out of date! I fear there are more outdates; why didn't you warn me? 😊"

Response: Yup, that's what happens when in-store customer traffic slows down. I suggest you check a category each day until you have checked everything that has a date on it. Tip: To help promote companion sales and put a jump start in selling OTCs, cross-merchandise your high-end supplements where they will be viewable from the drive-thru window and leave a note near the phone for suggestive selling items like liquid Omega 3.

Break up with your V-Day Inventory

It's over; it's not you; it's me. I just want what is best for you; I want you to be happy. Please get rid of all your Valentine merchandise. If it hasn't sold yet, it's not ever going to sell. Let it go. Find something else to take its place, something that will give you the profit margin that you deserve.

Supplement your wound care

Here are four supplements that make good companion sales with wound care: Vitamin C, a cofactor of collagen production; Zinc, promotes healing; Omega (in date) reduces inflammation; and L-Glutamine Protein, may decrease infectious complications. Here are 4 businesses to which you will want to market your wound care department: Assisted Living, Wound Centers, Emergency Rooms, and Orthopedic offices.

Frivolous Fringe

There are a few fringe holidays out there that you have to assess if it is worth stocking merchandise for. St. Patrick's Day is one of those fringe events. I remember carrying St. Patrick's Day items because no one else did in town. I figured it was my duty and a great niche. But, the last few years we did carry St. Patrick's Day items, we lost money and wasted time. I was a slow learner. This year take a good look at St. Patrick's Day sales and while you are at it, take a look at the 4th of July and Thanksgiving merchandise sales too. Good reasons to carry products are: makes you money, draws lots of people into your store, or enhances your image as a health provider. If you answer no on all three, move on. If you can use the space to promote something better, then this is your year to do it.

Reverse your routine

This Thursday, let's do the OTC order backwards. This tip is for everyone, especially for those who have their OTC on a perpetual Inventory system. Perpetual Inventory systems are not a "get out of having to order OTC card." Sadly, product disappears off the shelf without making it to the register, and items will end up in the wrong slot or shelf! Take the time to manually adjust or order your OTC departments in reverse order. Start where you usually end your order. Trust me on this, items that you missed at the end of your order because you were rushed will now jump out in front of you. Try it once.

Thank you for being a member of NCPA.

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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