2018 Front-End Overhaul Tips Archive

March 2018

Evaluating Fact, Fiction, and History

It's always good to remind yourself of your business' strengths. After serious contemplation, you will find where you shine and where opportunity is hiding in the shadows. Equally important, you may discover where your history is misleading your future. My new checklist will help you rank your store to help sort your financial future.

— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

How Shelves Can Cause a Mess

Recently, I was reviewing an OTC section and could not understand why it seemed so messy. The product was put on a shelf following a planogram, so that was OK. Then it hit me: most planograms are designed for 4-foot wide shelving, and the gondola I was looking at was 7 feet long, composed of a 4-foot and a 3-foot section. This leads to 1 foot of product being squished in.

Do your gondolas or wall units present a challenge? Is it because the shelving does not match the size of the planograms? If so, you have two ways to fix the problem. The simplest way is to cut the slowest selling products out of the planogram until the product fits properly. Or, choose a 4-foot planogram and double-face your private label and best-selling brand. What would you rather have: a messy-looking OTC section with lots of product to choose from, or a neat-looking section with limited product? A neat-looking section wins every time.

— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

The Magic of Counter and Floor Displays

Let's say you purchase three each of four different sunscreens and place them on a shelf side by side, three deep. Display them in either a seasonal or a skin care department and you will most likely have six left at the end of the summer season. But if you use a floor display with the same product, holding 48 pieces at the same retails and placed within 15 feet of the pharmacy counter, at the end of the season you will have two pieces left. Why? It's display magic.

First, let's talk about where there is no magic. Twelve bottles of sunscreen on a shelf displayed four wide leaves little or no impression; the product just sits there, hoping it will get noticed. The six you sold were when six different customers asked if you carry sunscreen. The magic is in the displays! Showing 48 pieces in one place screams "We are here! We have plenty because plenty of people want us!" The colorful displays says "Sunscreen Headquarters" — buy it when it's hot. Displays have the magic of self-promotion and generate impulse sales. Then the magic stops at the last two pieces. Why? Because displays with two pieces left now shout "We have been picked over; what you see are leftovers." Purchase your displays, and when you have only a few remaining products left, either reorder or remerchandise.

— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul


February 2018

Download This Checklist for Store Displays

Are you following these 10 guidelines when your order and set up a new display in your store? My new checklist will ensure you are maximizing your sales opportunities with a display while at the same time making inventory much easier.

— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul


January 2018

A Little Paint Can Do You Some Good

Recently, I had the fortune to work with an NCPA member who would soon be opening a combination pharmacy and coffee bistro.* Both businesses were located in the same building with no dividing wall, and all of the walls, except one, were painted a soft beige color. The back wall of the coffee bistro was painted a rich dark crimson. It made an impressive backdrop, but something was missing.

The coffee bistro looked like an add-on to the pharmacy with little ambiance. Accent colors called "chocolate therapy" and "mocha ice" were added to the bistro walls — and the pharmacy began to shine! The bistro looks awesome, but now the pharmacy, with its original stand-alone color, had a much more professional and cleaner look. Thanks to the paint, the area now looks like two completely different businesses that just happen to share the same roof.

You do not have to own a combination store to enjoy the benefits of new and separate look. You can add character and interest by painting a wall or several walls an accent color. Consider changing the colors in the waiting area, consulting room, DME wall, nutrition section, leg health wall, diabetic support center, or the card and gift area. Earth tones usually work well. Color palettes are a big help and can be found easily in paint stores and online. Go ahead, paint something — it will make you feel good and make the store look even better!

*Note: A combination coffee bistro and pharmacy is not for everyone.

— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

Oh the Weather Outside Is Frightful...

When cold weather or snow strikes, will you and your staff be prepared? Download my new Cold Weather Checklist to ensure your pharmacy and delivery vehicles are well-stocked for cold snaps, blizzards, nor'easters and more.

— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

What's in a Name?

Some pharmacists, after adding high-end supplements, weight control products, compression stockings, and/or natural products to their front ends, want to change their store name to "Pharmacy and Wellness Center." However, just the cost of changing labels is enough to deter one, never mind having to put up new signage and deal with mounds of paperwork. Save yourself some headaches: Go to the zoning board and ask permission to add to your store signage a simple sign that reads "& Wellness Center." It's up to you how much you want to spend on the sign. Remember to add "& Wellness Center" to your website, social media accounts, and other marketing vehicles

— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul

Plan Some Changes for 2018

It's hard to move your business forward when you don't move any product at all. Review these departments to determine if they need to be increased, decreased, or eliminated: School supplies, dollar items, cosmetics, fragrances, candy, soda, greeting cards, gifts, braces, bath safety, toys, candles, boxed chocolates, compression stockings, crutches, and household chemicals. Start by confirming how many inventory turns a year you get from each category. For example, if you have a gift inventory of $25,000 at retail and you sell $50,000 a year, then you had two turns. The more often inventory turns, the better the return is on investment. Remember, you are looking to increase, decrease, or eliminate these categories. Keep an open mind and invest wisely.

— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing

Front-End Overhaul