January 25, 2020

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

Almost to the Peak

In my earlier years, while managing a pharmacy, I called the owner and told him I had the flu. He said, "Great, come on in and run the register." I'm kinda sure he was kidding. However, it can't go unnoticed that OTC sales of cough and cold products sales peak during the flu season. You seasoned merchandisers know that flu season isn't over; in fact, the CDC reports that the flu season has a 1 in 4 chance of peaking in February. By now, you know what's been selling, keep those items at peak in-stock levels for at least another month.

Leave no clip-strip empty

I counted 6 clip-strips hanging off the side of one end-cap. All 6 strips were empty, whatever was on them was sold out. Here is what drives me nuts: nobody could remember what was on them. Clip-strips when full of product do a great job creating impulse sales. If you notice, near the top of a clip-strip the strip is wider; that is where you can place a shelf sticker to remind you what was on them. The best way to recycle a clip-strip is to refill it.

Plan to save time

One of the best ways to cut down on the time it takes to do a planogram is to prepare for it ahead of time. February is the month that most stores will reset the Hair Care section. Start by finding the planogram (sorry if that seems too obvious), order or print the shelf labels that are needed for the reset, confirm that you have the right number of shelves for the particular plan, and order the new items from the planogram to show up one day before attempting the project. You will also need cleaning supplies. Speaking of clip strips and hair care, fill your clip-strips with "ouch-less" ponytail elastics, scrunchies and pocket combs.

Senior Safety

February is National Senior Independence month. One of the main reasons for this event was to get seniors to focus on safety around the house. That is something you will want to mention on your website and Facebook homepage. Now is the perfect time to freshen up your bath safety department. Make sure you have at least one assembled transfer bench! String tags are the correct way to price assembled bath safety and mobility products; do not place a price gun sticker directly on the item! Price gun stickers, especially red ones, diminish the perceived value.

R U Ready? Valentine's Day is coming

Heads up, after this weekend, there will be only two more weekends before Valentine's Day. Valentine's shopping day for most people is on PAYDAY, Friday. In my opinion, Friday is the third-best day for; Valentine' Day to land. Get ready for it! Make sure all your Valentine's inventory is out of the backrooms and there is no Christmas candy to be found.

My favorite tips for your bookshelf

I've compiled my favorite tips for your store in a new book. It's a collection of the tips and suggestions that experience tells me are the most important contributors to pharmacy success outside the prescription department. With these tips, you and your team can take a fresh look at your store and be inspired to make changes to attract new customers. Your existing customers will appreciate the changes too, and you'll see increased sales and profitability. You'll find Gabe's Favorite Tips in the NCPA bookstore. Get your copy right away, at great member savings!

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@ncpanet.org with your questions, photos, best advice, and recommendations. What's selling well in your store? Let us know.

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