SHIFTING customers’ mindset from treating their local 24 hour pharmacy purely as a ‘convenience store’ to recognition as an ‘health hub’ was the task facing Beaufort St 24hr Chemist in Perth.
Rising to the challenge, with its associated risks, partners Bruce Affleck and Alexis McLeod (pictured) have succeeded in being named a Guild Pharmacy of the Year Finalist with their renewed focus on professional services.
The enthusiastic team managed to achieve a 43% increase in pharmacist roster hours from 2013 to 2016, converted a back office space into a vaccination compliant consultation room in 2015 and changed marketing strategy which saw the pharmacy restrict content relating to non-health related products and promotions refocussed to positive health-oriented messages.
Also as a result of the new strategy, store categories were reviewed with a prioritisation of healthcare stock space over that committed to non-core stock such as cosmetics.
“In June we removed a large cosmetic stand and the space created has been allocated to first aid and medicinal products, ” said Affleck.
McLeod said the pharmacy was acutely aware that in a rapidly changing industry “what made us successful yesterday will not be enough for us to succeed tomorrow.”
She said the partners were very aware that doing this often involved taking some financial risks but they did not let this deter them from reaching their goals.
Affleck said, “We also constantly reinvest our profits back into further developing our business.
“Recent examples of this are our investment in a vaccination compliant private consultation room in 2015, our increased investment in professional staff wages over the past three years and our investment in developing an after-hours Urgent Care Nurse Clinic,” he added.
The fully qualified nurse practitioners were trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions, Affleck explained, enabling them to treat wounds, remove sutures, inject, drug test, screen for STD’s and repeat scripts.