April 2, 2022

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

This edition is all about Vitamins
(some of these tips may be hard to swallow).

Vitamin C

Can your customers (Vitamin) C them?

The month of April is when merchandisers are asked to look at the Vitamin & Dietary Supplements offerings. Start by looking at your placement of this category. In most cases, the department sits right in front of the prescription counter. If you are filling over 125 scripts a day, there's a good chance that customers are standing in front of your vitamins blocking the view of other customers. If you see this happening consider moving the department parallel or close to the cough, cold, and allergy section. If this is not possible, consider relocating your department in proximity to digestive health.

vitamin b

(Vitamin) B unbiased about your supplements

Take an unbiased look at your vitamin/supplement department by starting with sales data and an inventory of outdated or short-dated products. Perhaps it's time to cut back or add to your offerings. Are you offering different brands of vitamins at different price points or simply offering similar grade vitamins with different color labels? You should have at least two groups of vitamins, a pharmaceutical-grade line that your pharmacist recommends and uses, and one less expensive line that offers an economical fit for some customers. P.S. Do not deny your customers the choice of a pharmaceutical-grade supplement because you don't think they can afford it!

Vitamin A

Are you a (Vitamin) A plus merchandiser?

The best way to merchandise vitamins is by brand. This builds brand loyalty and promotes companion sales. For example, a shopper likes vitamin D3 and now would like to try the COQ10 from the same brand. Do not merchandise vitamins of different brands side by side, meaning do not have your vitamin C brand that sells for $29.99 next to the brand that retails for $9.99. Doing this would only entice customers to give the $9.99 a try.

Vitamin D

(Vitamin) D is for depletion

Become well-versed in medication-related nutrient depletion. Start with understanding and then stocking the supplements recommended for the top 5 drug-induced nutrient depleting medications. Most importantly, understand the limitations on what can be said in promoting vitamins and supplements.

Vitamin K

Promote your vitamins, K?

When marketing your vitamins/supplements, have a goal to gain the interest of customers who have not taken supplements regularly. This means that your in-store signage promoting supplements should be seen throughout the store, not just in front of the vitamins section. Here are some examples of where signs promoting certain vitamins could be placed: signs promoting Vitamin D would do well near the skincare section; signs for Vitamin B would do well in men's grooming, feminine hygiene, and digestive health departments. There is no limit to what departments should have signage to promote vitamins and supplements. Give it a try!


More than a supplement for your business

One of the things I truly enjoy being a part of at NCPA is the Ownership Workshop. The workshop is packed with networking, informative CE, speakers who are leaders in their industry, and contagious excitement. Yes, excitement! Whether individuals already own a store, are contemplating purchasing an existing store or opening a new location, attendees return home empowered like never before. Would you like to be empowered? Click here.

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 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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