November 20, 2021

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

Be Inspirational

Not everyone thinks like you. If you are reading this, then I know you take pride in your store. It's time for you to enter the NICE awards. Showing others what you have done is not boasting; on the contrary, it is offering inspiration! Take a minute to show people what will happen when you mix creativity with passion. Enter the NICE Awards by Dec. 1.

Stuff the Stockings

If it fits in a sock, then you have stocking stuffers — stuffers of the best kind that do not have to be discounted! Create some business card size signs with the words "Stocking Stuffer," and if possible, add a holiday image to the sign. Place the signs near CBD, full-size candy bars, socks for those with diabetes, compression socks, body washes, reading & sunglasses, sunscreen (spring break), toothbrushes, hairbrushes, nail clippers, moisturizers, lip balm, aftershave, markers, pens, crayons, baby teething rings, travel size OTC products, multiple types of vitamins, immune boosters, massage oils, soap bars, hand crème, smoking cessation tools, hand sanitizer, masks, cotton rounds, and money gift cards. Take down the signs on 12/26/2021 and save them for next year.

Dress up your merchandise for the holidays

If you have fragrances, perfumes, or aftershave that retail for $10.00 or more, take one out of the box for show and wrap the others for a quick sale. If you have plush animals that are slow in sales, decorate them with red or green ribbon. If you have white, green, red, and or silver candles that are not selling, merchandise them as a group and place a sign that reads "Light your home with the colors of the holidays."

Lift spirits and bums

If you have DME items, then you have even more products to promote for the holidays! Every lift chair needs to have a big red bow on them. Remember, many lift chairs are not purchased by the end-user but by family members. Canes should be enhanced with a colorful bow. (If needed, buy a bag of bows). Rollators and walkers will look festive with a holiday balloon tied to them. Feature a display of swivel seat cushions used for car seats or chairs at home. A swivel cushion is a great gift for under $50.00.

"Can you tell me how much this is?"

I have learned over the years that an unpriced gift has less than a 20% chance of selling than the same item that has a retail price attached to it. Gift items do not come with retail stickers, and for that reason, many items go unpriced. And at times, the box for the item is priced, but the box is not on the shelf! To ensure you do not lose a gift sale, ask someone to check every gift item in your store for a visible retail price. This is a good job for anyone 12 years old and older. 😉 (Tip: consider using a "to and from tag" as a price tag. See here.)

In this case, don't go all out

Outs in the OTC section do two things. They beg customers to go elsewhere, and they cost you sales. The supply chain is hurting your sales; you can't do much about that. However, you can do something about the outs you may have missed or chosen to put off ordering. Payroll is met by selling product. Don't force a payroll change; do a complete OTC order no less than three times a week. Remember to bump up the order that is to arrive on Fridays.

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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