June 13, 2020

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

Daily Habits

Check your drug wholesaler every day for virus related items! I have been told that some suppliers now have hand-sanitizer, pulse oximeters, gloves and thermometers. However, their inventory could be gone in hours. Add checking your wholesaler inventory to your daily routine.

The Answer Is...

Last edition I asked "Which one of these methods do you think would be best to increase out-front sales? New fixtures, new carpet, a new logo, adding wheels to the fixtures so they can easily be moved, adding new OTC categories, increasing the size of existing OTC departments, lowering retail prices, painting the interior walls, raising the height of the fixtures, lowering the height of the fixtures or rounding all the retail prices to end in sevens or nines."

The best method to increase out-front sales is to add new OTC categories. New categories that will attract new customers and add companion sales to the customers you already have. Consider adding an all-natural product section, pet health, wound care, bath safety, DME mobility items, premium teas, spa products, compression socks, and therapeutic footwear.

Personal Space Please

As customers return to your store they are going to be insisting on more personal space. It is time to go on a spinner and free-standing display hunt. The displays that you feel will continue to attract sales can stay and a reorder may be necessary to enhance the presentation. Those racks that show only slow and infrequent sales are to be emptied and recycled. By recycled I do not mean put them in the back room or use them for a different slow-moving line. Your goal is to have at least a 4ft open circumference around each display. The product on the slower moving displays are to be discounted as a "Buy one and get one Free".

I spy...a sign

Sign check! Either walk or drive by your store. How quickly can you tell from the street view that your store offers home delivery? If you had to look for the sign, then it is time for a roadside sign. A permanent mounted sign or sandwich sidewalk sign board or even yard signs that sticks in the grass will do the trick. Check with your zoning board. I'm guessing that regulations concerning your message sign will be loosened up.

Father Friendly Finds

If you are not open on Sunday, you now have 6 selling days for Father's Day. Place a sign near your drive up and front window (not your door), with 6 different father's days gift suggestions. Three suggestions promoting your three best sellers and three of your slowest. PS, if you can't think of 6, then start with vitamins and nootropics and work down to sunglasses and a hand sanitizer and mask combo.

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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