The National Community Pharmacists Association is lending community pharmacy owners a hand in developing better business opportunities for front-end merchandise.


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NCPA program offers front-end assistance

November 30th, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association is lending community pharmacy owners a hand in developing better business opportunities for front-end merchandise.

Under an initiative called "Front-End Overhaul ... More Traffic, More Profits," NCPA said Wednesday that it's offering an array of resources to independent community pharmacies, which need to optimize other streams of revenue in the face of intensifying competition in the pharmacy market and pressure on prescription reimbursements.

To lead Front-End Overhaul, NCPA has appointed Gabe Trahan as senior director of store operations and marketing. With 35 years of retail and wholesale experience, he is an expert in layout modification, merchandising, curb appeal, pricing strategies and advertising, the association said.

"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," NCPA chief executive officer B. Douglas Hoey said in a statement. "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."

Through Front-End Overhaul, NCPA members will get access to a variety of offerings, including the following:

• Two continuing education 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."

• 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 library of one-pagers and tip sheets on every aspect of the process. Sign templates and other marketing materials will be included. 

NCPA said members will also have access to affordable on-site and virtual consulting visits to help them uncover ways to realistically improve curbside presence and in-store merchandising opportunities that can be applied to patient care activities and traditional categories such as health and beauty aids, durable medical equipment, seasonal, candy, snacks and gifts.

Virtual store visit participants fill out an in-depth questionnaire and upload photographs of their store. After the review, participants will get a plan for profit, including steps for increasing planned, impulse and companion sales; a detailed action list; a new floor plan, if needed; and six months of ongoing help. 

"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," stated Trahan. "We are committed to building ideas, tools, and opportunities to assist NCPA members in creating a dynamic front-end."

Trahan worked for over 24 years at City Drug Stores, where he held nearly every position but pharmacist. He is the originator of the Store Report Card, which evaluates a pharmacy from the outside and to the furthest interior point of the store.

In addition, he served as director of retail services for Burlington Drug Co. and worked as an independent consultant, helping to rejuvenate the front-ends of drug stores from Alaska to the Bahamas, NCPA said, adding that many of the stores that have received Trahan's help have seen increases by as much as 25% to 100% in sales growth. He also serves on the board of the Chain Drug Marketing Association.

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