May 29, 2021

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

Feeling Feminine

In the month of June, merchandisers are asked to update the Feminine Hygiene department. You may not only want to update it, but you may also want to downsize the department. There are items in Feminine Hygiene that are shipped only by case, forcing you to either crowd the shelves or place overstock elsewhere. If this happens to you, consider choosing a smaller planogram size while maintaining the same shelf space. Note: Feminine Hygiene is a highly price-sensitive category. Check with your wholesaler to see what options you have to be more competitive in this Feminine Hygiene category.

See you in Charlotte!

Attention Merchandisers! You will have a lot to gain by attending NCPA’s Annual Convention this October 9th - 12th in Charlotte, NC. You will be able to check out new products and attend sessions on becoming even better at your career. Most importantly, you can network with your peers that share the same skillset and responsibilities. NCPA’s Annual convention is an exhilarating place for meeting of the minds. Registration is open on June 8th; circle the date on your calendar! I’ll see you there!

Fly a new Flag

June 14th is Flag Day. A nice new crisp American Flag would be an excellent addition for curbside appeal. I am sure people passing by your store will appreciate seeing Old Glory. The new flag will come in real handy for a grand 4th of July celebration that is way overdue.

Show me the money

Money cards — the new gift of choice? June will be a popular month for hosting many graduations, weddings, and anniversaries. Not everyone will feel comfortable attending the events, choosing to bypass the travel and send a gift through the mail. Shipping is costly; stamps are reasonable. Make it easy for customers to find your money gift cards. There is no doubt that prepaid gift cards will be a hot commodity; however, there will still be a generation who will want to send a personal check.

Come on in!

It is time to start a marketing campaign to get your customers back into the store and rely less on drive-thru and costly delivery. A digital sign with the message "Come on in! Your safety & comfort remains our priority." Welcoming back your customers should be the first thing people see when looking at your Facebook Business page and your pharmacy website. A 15-second radio ad inviting everyone into your store will also be very effective. Remember, use music only to lead and end your radio message, but have no music while speaking. You do not want background sounds to compete with what you have to say.

Two is better than one

A recent face-to-face question: "Hey Gabe, why would you want me to stock two of an item that I only sell one of a year!" Answer: Carrying one of each item of the majority of your OTC sends a visual and well-remembered message "They typically carry one of everything, (majority is seen as everything) they could be out of what I need." Then there is the group of customers who think, "They only have one; it must be super expensive, or they must be going out of business soon." And then there is this group that sees the only one as the last one, and this group avoids buying the last one of anything. Unless you are running a museum or a jewelry store carrying one each of item will never be considered a well-stocked store." If you have less than 25 items in your store that you have one each of, not counting specialty items like braces, hosiery, and crutches, you are doing fine.

Thank you for being a member of NCPA. I will see you in beautiful Charlotte!

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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