2017 Front-End Overhaul Tips Archive

February 2017


Valentine's Day Sales Worksheet

You know you are supposed to take good notes about your Valentine's Day sales this year, but what should you write down? Download my new Valentine's Day Sales Worksheet and start writing. The most successful merchandisers take the best notes.

Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

Time to Prepare for Valentine's Day 2018

Are you ready for the 2018 Valentine's Day? It's not too late to start preparing for next year. A Valentine's Day that lands on a Tuesday, such as this year's, has little in common with a Valentine's Day that lands on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday in terms of sales and customer traffic. However, a Valentine's Day that lands on a Tuesday mirrors one that lands on a Wednesday, meaning the 2017 Valentine's Day is a wonderful opportunity to prepare for the 2018 holiday. Start by taking daily detailed notes. The latest tip from Gabe outlines what you should be recording to better inform your buying and merchandising decisions for next year.

Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

Valentine's Day Reminders

Valentine's Day is only two weeks away—prepare your pharmacy now to maximize sales this season.

  • Walk through your entire store and identify non-Valentine's themed items and remerchandise them as Valentine's gifts. Use signage, repositioning, and basic decorations to emphasize these items. Suggestions: therapeutic shoes, fashion canes, premium skin care, photo frames, vitamins, and lift chairs. Anything can look like a Valentine's Day gift with red ribbon and a good sign.

  • Since Valentine's Day is on a Tuesday and not a traditional payday this year, you need to work harder for sales. Post signs throughout the store reminding customers that Valentine's Day is fast approaching.

  • You should have at least one Valentine's Day-themed end-cap up (find ideas in my photo gallery).

  • Assign someone on staff to straighten the greeting card department every day and at least twice a day the few days leading up to Feb. 14. When Valentine's Day cards sell down, rearrange the racks to fit boxed chocolates and candy.

  • Do not discount Valentine's Day candy until Feb. 15—you are only teaching customers to wait for a sale to buy.

Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

January 2017


5 Easy Tasks You Can Complete Right Now

  • Police the community bulletin board for outdated announcements or fliers. Set a reminder to check it weekly.

  • Hang signs around the store reminding customers about Valentine's Day on Feb. 14.

  • Create a display of hand sanitizers (or travel-size sanitizers) at your registers and pick-up counter.

  • Post a flu shot reminder on your website and social media accounts.

  • Clean all glass, pottery, and shelves in your gift department. Ensure there are no products on the floor.

Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

Your New Year To-Do List

Take some time this week to kick off January and the New Year on the right foot by completing some of these timely tasks:

  • Ask employees to set goals for the year; for example, increasing front-end sales by 10%, creating more customer awareness about your vitamin/supplement offerings, compression stockings, and/or sugar-free selection, or promoting the benefits of vitamin D, CoQ10, sunscreen, healthy bones, etc.

  • Be proactive and offer solutions for overstock, misaligned inventory, and understocks of health care categories, braces, vitamins, greeting cards, and gifts.

  • Make this the year employees ask every customer, "How did you hear about us?" and "Did you find what you are looking for?" Develop a habit of thanking every customer for allowing you to be their health care provider.

  • Add more natural and alternative remedies to the pain, cough & cold, and digestive categories this month.

  • Be aware of an onslaught of new price changes in the New Year. Schedule to have changes completed as soon as possible.

  • Replace verbal, unhelpful reports of "we sell a lot of that" with concrete data from your POS reports on OTC, DME, gift, and card sales.

Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

Are You in the Gift-Selling Business?

If you are going to sell it, then wrap it, and wrap it well. Make signs: "Free Gift Wrapping!" Don't have the staff? Here are two suggestions: One way is to contact a high school student advisor and tell him or her you need up to four students who could use some extra cash. They need to be pleasant and willing to wrap presents, especially on Christmas Eve. No surprises here! They will be expected to be in the store on December 24. Pay them what you want, but do not put them on payroll! Do not train them to run the register; they are there to wrap. Schedule two shifts, late morning and afternoon, and no more than two to three wrappers on a shift—more than three becomes a party.

The other way is something my old employer City Drug was known to do, and do well. We supplied the wrapping supplies, table, and space for different nonprofit groups, typically chosen from local schools, to come in on the five business days leading into Christmas to wrap gifts and accept donations (no more than three students total). For example, the drama club would come in the first day, the band would send wrappers for the second day, then the cheerleading team, etc. We always seeded their donation jar with a few $1 and $5 bills.

Tip: Make your store's policies well known to the gift wrapping elves; review policies like acceptable language, noise level, cellphone etiquette, and where to leave their purses and/or backpacks. Most importantly, they must stay out of the pharmacy area!

I'm guessing several hundred store owners will read this tip, but only 20 will do it. Twenty owners will sell more gifts than they ever have and will become more involved with their communities. Their stores will become the talk of the town. If you are one of the 20, congratulations! Drop me a note at gabe.trahan@ncpanet.org and let me know how it is going. Happy wrapping.

Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

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