PHARMACY

Supporting succession plans

BY Barbara White-Sax

In early 2015, Bartell Drugs celebrated its 125th anniversary and named a new president. Brian Unmacht took the helm as president of the family-owned chain in the first quarter of 2015 after serving as a member of Bartell Drugs’ board of directors since 2011. Previously, Unmacht was executive VP and COO at REI.

(Click here to view the full report.)

Bartell Drugs’ chairman and CEO George D. Bartell said that filling the position at the 63-store chain supports future succession plans. Bartell Drugs is the oldest and largest family-owned drug store chain in the United States.

Last year, Bartell added a Group Health CareClinic to an additional location, bringing the total to three. The CareClinics, opened in partnership with Group Health and staffed with Group Health nurse practitioners and physician assistants, will get a wider rollout, with four to five added in additional Bartell locations in 2015. The clinics are open on evenings and weekends.

Adding CareClinic facilities is one way Bartell employs “high touch, high service” features to differentiate itself from competitors. Services that can only be offered in store allow the chain to compete with online channels.

In 2016, the chain will open a new store in the Ballard area of Seattle. The 14,000-sq.-ft. location will be a “next generation” store that will introduce new services, product offerings and customer convenience features.

Through its pharmacies, Bartell offers a variety of immunizations and health screening services. The chain offers pharmacy refill and reminder services with its MyAutoScript program, and allows patients to sync their prescription refills with its MyRxSync service.

Bartell offers in-store health and beauty events twice a year, during which it offers digital mammography screenings in cooperation with Evergreen Medical Hospital and a variety of other health and beauty offers.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
PHARMACY

Improving the shopper experience

BY Michael Johnsen

Weis Markets earlier this year named longtime pharmacy veteran Rick Bhandari — who has helped manage pharmacy for Bi-Lo Holdings, CVS Health and Rite Aid over the course of his career — as director pharmacy operations. He’s assuming the day-to-day responsibilities for a burgeoning pharmacy business — Weis’ comparable pharmacy sales increased 8.5% in 2014 compared with 2013, according to Weis’ 2014 annual report, and this is following a year in which same-store pharmacy sales were down 2.2%.

(Click here to view the full report.)

A lot of that can be attributed to more patients filling prescriptions, the company said. In addition to picking up more patients across its pharmacy operations, Weis has successfully implemented in-store pet medication, emphasized a continued focus on immunization and implemented a successful medication synchronization program to help drive the back-bench business. “Also contributing to the increase are some of the company’s stores having expanded pharmacy hours,” the company stated in its 10-K.

The grocer is looking to build on its 2014 success with a continued focus on value and customer experience. “Over the past year, we steadily invested in our pricing programs and successfully executed our strategy, which has produced consistent sales increases in key center store and fresh departments,” said Jonathan Weis, Weis Markets’ president and CEO, regarding the company’s year-end results. “We also improved our in-store customer experience and increased our customer service focus. As a result of our investments and customer service programs, we are well-positioned to build on our success in 2015.”

As one example of their drive to improve the shopper experience, Weis launched an online shopping service with in-store pickup through 20 locations earlier this year. “Weis Online Shopping works particularly well for customers who don’t have the time or ability to shop, including double-income households, families with small children and customers with mobility issues,” said Kurt Schertle, Weis Markets’ COO.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
PHARMACY

Promotional push on new services

BY Barbara White-Sax

Discount Drug Mart made two key acquisitions last year that strengthened the chain’s position as a locally owned, full-service specialty pharmacy chain that can meet an array of consumer health needs.

(Click here to view the full report.)

Its acquisition of Hastings, a professional medical equipment supplier, allowed the chain to increase its selection of durable medical equipment and offer new services to its customers. “Many of these items are for customers who have recently been in the hospital and are still in need of some of the assistance provided there. Our customers are now able to visit our stores and speak to a home health care specialist to order the products they need, from hospital beds to oxygen tanks,” said Amanda Akin, marketing specialist at the chain. “Hastings will deliver the equipment to their homes and set it up. The acquisition helps Discount Drug Mart be a one-stop shop for consumers.”

The chain also acquired Gentry Health Services specialty pharmacy service. The acquisition allows the chain to provide specialty prescriptions to its customers chainwide, particularly to patients with AIDS and cancer.

Discount Drug Mart is focused on promoting the new services through in-store signage, promotional mailers, and circular and television, radio and digital media ads. “We like to advertise ourselves as the ‘hometown pharmacy,’ focusing on the idea that we don’t have large stores, and customers don’t have to park too far away from the front door,” said Akin. “We stress convenience for older generations and parents with young children.”

The company continued to emphasize its immunization program, which includes flu, shingles, pneumonia and other vaccines. The chain also focused on expanding its Pets Meds program, which offers pet medications often below veterinarian prices.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?