September 12, 2020

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

* Gabe's Tips: *

Extreme Savings Sale

From a recent zoom meeting : "Look at my gifts, I didn't buy them, I inherited them!" UGH! I need to get rid of them! Why are you so against discounting?"

First, I am totally against discounting holiday merchandise before the holiday. I am also against discounting gifts before you have, first, repositioned them and added perceived value by adding signage. That being said, after seeing your gifts, have at it, start your extreme savings sale right now. Never call a sales event a "clearance or liquidation sale." Those two words are known to start rumors.

Creating Space

Here is another way to expand personal space for your customers. Remove free standing floor displays! Move the display or the contents of the display to an endcap. Free standing displays gravitate to lean up against a pole shrinking the space between two fixtures and/or cramping the start and end of an aisle. For more ideas on maximizing personal space for your customers join me during NCPA's Annual Convention on Monday, Oct. 19 for a virtual CE entitled: How do we redesign the floor plan to maximize personal space for my patients (without breaking the bank)? Let's get everyone on board for your next project; invite the entire staff to join you on this one. Register for NCPA's Annual Convention today!

Expanding OTC

From a recent phone call: "Gabe, I'm not happy with my OTC sales, do you think I should expand the size of the departments?"

Answer: If you are using planograms, have the basic size plan for each category, and your OTC prices are in line, then I would say no, do not make the departments any larger. Instead, bring in new categories. Things like compression socks, wound care, Immune boosters, DME Mobility, pet health and natural products. Expanding OTC departments generally offer more choices of similar products, not necessarily leading to an extra sale. New categories will attract planned and companion sales along with bringing in new customers.

Banner Be Seen

Those of you without a road sign that are looking for a creative way to market flu shots should consider a banner attached to a vehicle that can be seen from the road. At times, a banner on a vehicle will baffle the local zoning board, that's just one more reason why I like the idea. See an example here.

Don't Get Duped

Warning! Do not be scammed by a ridiculous MSRP on PPE items. Pay closer attention to the wholesale cost and the cost of shipping. MSRP is a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price. Manufacturers at times hold their product in a little too high regard and submit a MSRP that is nowhere competitive. I have seen KN95 individual wrap mask with a MSRP of $9.99 while seeing the same mask retail for $2.99.

Don't miss NCPA's first ever Virtual Annual Convention! Be well, stay safe and thank you for being a member of NCPA.

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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