August 8, 2020

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

Wall space

Are you short on space in the cough and cold set to merchandise vaporizers, humidifiers, facial tissues, hand sanitizers, lip balms, and or natural products? Then take the entire department to the walls! Traditional fixtures offer 48" of shelving space; walls can provide as much as an extra 18" to 24" to position shelves. Looking for even more room? Utilize a wall fixture by placing the larger items on a shelf at 70 to 72" from the floor.

Germs be gone

Forty-five years ago, I started merchandising toothbrushes in the cough cold section with a sign that read, "Throw those germs away; it's time for a new toothbrush!" Right now, I think it is even a better idea.

Window display

While doing a recent virtual store visit, I was reminded of a solution for stores that have lots of windows while lacking room for merchandise space. Choose a group of windows where you have at least 57" of floor space between the window and the nearest fixture. Install a 48" to 60" high wall fixture with a solid backing of the color of your choice. The fixture will look fine from the outside, and you will still have ample sunlight entering the building.

Virtual visits are a budget-minded but super effective way to improve your store. Drop me a note if you would like to find out if a virtual visit is a good fit for you.

Masks on trend

We are starting to see the global supply chain of PPE products begin to open up. Prices of masks and thermometers are coming down. Premium mask with antimicrobial copper technology and hemp-infused fibers are just a few of the new types that have become available. Masks also have become a fashion piece. Exercise caution with high quantity buying until there is a clear path on what type and style of masks have become the most popular. Some styles may even become obsolete. No one wants to be stuck with 500 masks that have quickly been replaced by a better or snazzier new model.

Personal space, please

Here is one suggestion to create additional personal space to your aisles. Gondolas come with a total width anywhere from 24" to 48". If you have anything over 30," consider buying one or two new 24" or 30" wide gondolas a year. Two gondolas downsized can open an aisle up by as much as one to two feet. Match the fixture line you currently have; this way, you can reuse any shelves that are narrow enough to fit your new layout.

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

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