July 10, 2021

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

Outdates Out-of-Control

Outdated OTC stinks. For the last 16 months, foot traffic has been limited. So, I'm guessing you have a lot of outdates. You are going to have to pull it off the shelves. I remember visiting a store owner who only dealt with outdates when a customer brought it to his attention. I was visiting his store because he was very dissatisfied with his front-end sales. It is tempting to pull the control shelf label down and discontinue an outdated item. Don't do it. Bring in two pieces of the product – not one but, two – and give it another 12 months. P.S. Check your new OTC inventory that you are receiving and have a clear policy on dealing with any short-dated product.

The Big Three

The "I Want it Now Crowd" is beginning to resurface. When pushed to the internet, the "I Want it Now Crowd" were not thrilled with the so-called free three-day shipping that turns out be three days after being shipped. Lately, I've been looking at lots of store photos; I am concerned about how many stores have let the front-end inventory disappear. Yes, I know there have been excessive backorder reports, but not enough to make the shelves look decimated. This week check the big three — cold & allergy, pain relief, and digestive — for sufficient inventory to meet the needs of the "I Want it Now Crowd" and your everyday customer.

Creative Troublemaking

I was blown away when NCPA asked me to be on a committee to choose the keynote speakers for this year's NCPA Annual Convention. I had hoped to find someone with a sense of humor, plays music, and offered some life-changing methods to make a person better at what they do. I didn't see that person, but someone else on the committee did!! Check out Josh Linker. If you are anything like me, you eat his kind of stuff up. Josh's stuff is some of the best stuff 😊

Smiles Over Sales

Our brains process pictures faster than words. A sign with a photo of a person with a big smile is more effective in getting people's attention than a sign that reads "Sale!" Additionally, our brain has a special space for understanding numbers. At times numbers shown as a price can be taken as a warning more than encouragement. Example: "Rollator $69.99" can be scary to some people. It seems like a lot of money. A sign with a photo of a person smiling using a rollator with the words "Stylish, easy-to-use Rollator that easily folds and fits in most car trunks" will easily outperform the "hey, this is $69.99" sign. P.S. The price is not on the sign; it is on a string tag tied to the Rollator. Go ahead and give it a try.

A Sight for Healthy Eyes

July, among other things, is UV Safety Awareness Month and Healthy Vision Month. UV Safety is a good thing to promote on your social media platforms. When it comes to Healthy Vision, use this as a reminder to evaluate your eye-care category. The planogram often has a section with pegged items near the top with a shelf over the peg. This doesn't always look good, especially for fixtures 54" or shorter in height. Consider dropping down from a 4ft set to a 3ft set, do some customizing, and remove the top shelf.

See you in October!

Thank you for being a member of NCPA, and see you in October!

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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