NCPA Launches Initiative to Help Independent Community Pharmacies Create Better Business Opportunities for Front-End Merchandise



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Alexandria, Va. - November 30, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has launched a new initiative to help community pharmacy owners create better business opportunities for the front-end of their stores called Front-End Overhaul...More Traffic, More Profits! In the competitive pharmacy marketplace with shrinking prescription drug reimbursements, this effort to maximize other revenue streams is integral to the future of community pharmacies. Spearheading the initiative is NCPA's new Senior Director of Store Operations & Marketing, Gabe Trahan, who is an expert in layout modification, merchandising, curb appeal, pricing strategies, and advertising.

"NCPA believes community pharmacies are indispensible because of their accessibility, expertise, and focus on patient-care," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "But while NCPA continues to fight for adequate reimbursements, community pharmacies must also diversify their business opportunities. One area for potential growth is front-end merchandise. We are excited to welcome Gabe Trahan to the NCPA family, because he has a record of accomplishment in this area and is the perfect person to lead our Front-End Overhaul."

The initiative was announced during NCPA's 113th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee in late October. Trahan began working for NCPA November 1 after 35 years of retail and wholesale experience.

NCPA members will get access to a plethora of products. There are two full, continuing education (CE) programs from the NCPA Annual Convention called "Closing the Image Gap: Merchandising with a Critical Difference" and "Mastering Your Message: Crystal Communication of Your Pharmacy's Value." There is a photo gallery of before and after pictures of community pharmacies that have implemented strategic merchandising changes as a result of consultation with Trahan. "Front-End Overhaul Hall of Fame" is a home for inspiration detailing some the best work done by our peers. A growing library of one-pagers and tip sheets on every aspect of the process will be made available. Sign templates and other marketing materials will be included. Regular articles will run in NCPA's monthly member-only magazine, America's Pharmacist.

NCPA members will also have access to affordable onsite and virtual consulting visits to help community pharmacies uncover ways to realistically improve curbside presence and in-store merchandising opportunities that can be applied to patient care activities and traditional HBC, DME, seasonal, candy, & snacks, gifts, and more. Virtual store visit participants fill out an in-depth questionnaire and upload photographs of their store. Then after the review, participants will get a plan for profit, including steps for increasing planned, impulse, and companion sales; an easy-to-understand and incredibly detailed action list; a new floor plan if needed; and six months of ongoing help. The onsite visits will be divided into one-day or two-day packages whereby Trahan comes for a face-to-face review and revitalization process that builds on the components of the virtual visits. His assesments are many times described as "brutal," but are are on the mark.

"Having worked with many members of NCPA over the years, formally joining the association's impressive staff was the next logical step in trying to make the greatest possible difference to the largest amount of community pharmacies," said Trahan. "I can tell you what you want to hear or what you should hear. I owe it to you to tell you what you need to hear. But this is just the beginning. We are committed to building ideas, tools, and opportunities to assist NCPA members in creating a dynamic front-end."

Trahan worked for 24+ years for City Drug Stores, where he held nearly every position but pharmacist. Trahan is the originator of the "Store Report Card", which, by focusing on improvements and opportunities, starts from the outside and ends at the furthest interior point of the store. The results of the Report Card have identified many opportunities that have dramatically increased planned, companion, and impulse sales. While holding the position as the Director of Store Design and Merchandising for Promotions Unlimited, he traveled across the country conducting seminars on the keys to successful front-end merchandising.

Trahan then became Director of Retail Services for Burlington Drug Company, and worked as an independent consultant where he helped rejuvenate the front-ends of drug stores from Alaska to the Bahamas. Many of the stores that have received Trahan's help have seen increases by as much as 25% to 100% in sales growth. He is also an Advisory Board Member and Writer for Retail Pharmacy magazine and serves on the Board of Directors for Chain Drug Marketing Association (CDMA).

For information about the initiative either email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call Cheron McCrae at 703-600-1219. You can also visit the page on NCPA's website that is devoted to the initiative.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

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