April 18, 2020

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

Wait no more

Let's think about the future for a moment. Let's rethink your waiting area. Benches, church pews, sofas, and loves seats will no longer be so loved. Chairs at the end of an aisle need to go. Your new waiting area needs to be situated to allow everyone a good view of the pharmacy pickup. You may have to reposition or downsize an OTC category to make room for chairs spaced out along a wall. You could also consider creating a sectioned off area. See some examples here.

*If you are considering building your new waiting area while foot traffic is at its minimum or, perhaps, a more extensive remodel project, give me a call. A virtual store visit can be of great help; no reason to go it alone. My cell number 802-922-1205.

Signage for the soul

Have you had the time to think about the messages on your digital sign? Posting new hours, curbside pickup, free delivery, and drive-through are a given. Making someone smile is not. It should be. Example "Don't even think about buying toilet paper for Mother's Day."

Google it

People are going on the internet more than ever! For favorable search results on Google Maps' "pharmacy near me," go to your Google business profile and add your web address, hours, phone number, store photos, and testimonials. Google loves data.

Get Google to Pointy to You

Speaking of internet searches, Pointy which is now part of Google My Business, helps pharmacies to be found online & display up to date product information on Google. This means that local customers can check what the pharmacy has in stock before leaving the house and avoid making unnecessary journeys. Pointy is normally $899 ($499 to NCPA members) but they're offering it to pharmacies for free to help with the fight against COVID-19.

It's gonna be May

Cue Justin Timberlake meme. From what I can see from the supply chain, by the middle of May, hand sanitizers, masks, and thermometers will be easier to locate. Check with suppliers and wholesalers on what their preorder and backorder policies are. Pre-order if you can.

DIY Masks

Stock up on elastic large hair ties. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, shows how to make a no-sew face mask on CNN—using a bandana and elastic hair ties. People are also looking for pipe cleaners, also known as "chenille stems." They are sewn into the upper part of a face mask allowing the mask to be shaped around the nose.

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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