November 6, 2021

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

An Unwanted Disappearing Act

Two things disappear, possibly three, when you place a sticker on the front packaging of an item. The first to disappear is perceived value, that's the customer's perception of the retail price. A price sticker staring at you demands attention and begs the question, "Can I get this cheaper somewhere else?" The second thing to disappear is the well-thought-out packaging design; a sticker slapped on the front resembles a garage sale item. The third thing that may disappear is the sale or, at the least, a downsized purchase to something less expensive. Start today by never placing a sticker on the front of a product. Please inform the entire staff of the new policy; old habits are tough to break.

Do you see what I see?

When I arrived 15 minutes early to get my booster shot, I was told to take a seat where I was positioned to stare at a sign that read, "PLEASE face this direction. THANK YOU". After receiving my vaccine, I was directed to sit in a different area and wait 15 minutes, inspired by a copy of the "face this direction" sign. Take a seat and review what your patients are seeing while waiting for a vaccine and or waiting to have their prescription(s) filled. Be intentional about what they are seeing. For instance, market a service you offer. If you feel you need to change a few things, watch the webinar called Sharing Your Value Beyond a Vaccine for some inspiration including tips on how to promote additional services in your pharmacy.

Share the love, not the germs

This holiday season, there will be a lot of handshaking, hugging, and kissing going on. Two years' worth! Perhaps lots of sneezing as well. Prepare an endcap with plenty of hand sanitizers with no more than 2 sizes to choose from, EPA-approved cleansers for high-touch areas, wipes, and immune boosters for children and adults. Put a sign and the immune boosters on the top shelf. Merchandise your way down to the base shelf. Fill the base shelf with the large boxes of facial tissues. For the ease of reordering, you will want to place shelf tags in front of one of the different items represented. Keep the endcap up and filled until January 5th. Use an endcap in a highly visible area; there is no need for the endcap to be near the cough & cold section.

Prep for post-Turkey Day

It's time to be a little more proactive. This week, on your calendar, mark Tuesday, November 23rd, as the date to create an OTC order that will carry your inventory for 5 to 6 days. If needed, use Wednesday, November 24th, to do a quick OTC order for items you may have missed. Plan on getting additional change for the registers. Add one more staff member to the schedule for Friday, November 26th. Doing this will be a smart investment just in case you are busier than expected … or someone calls in sick.

Sales worksheets for success

It's not too late to download the Halloween Sales Worksheet, nor is it too early to download the Christmas Sales Worksheet. Along with the worksheets, create a digital file of photos of your merchandising success for these events. Download the Sales Worksheets here.

What a NICE pharmacy!

I want you to win a NICE AWARD sponsored by RedSail Technologies®. Winners are featured in America's Pharmacist® magazine; that is an awesome honor! To add to the distinction, NCPA's communications team will also help you get some media coverage by sending a press release to pharmacy trade publications and to your local outlets. Snagging local press coverage is frosting on the cake. Here is your link to enter, do it now while you are thinking of it.

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. 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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