Leading retail expert Brian Walker and community pharmacist Catherine Bronger discuss the current retail and health trends affecting pharmacy at APP 2015.

“For a category with very little merchandising and marketing, the Pharmacist Only department is actually one of the most profitable areas of business to a pharmacy owner,” said Brian Walker, retail expert and founder and CEO of Retail Doctor Group, presenting at APP 2015 today.

Pharmacist Only – or the S3 category – also offers benefits beyond profit margins. Many customers are insufficiently informed about their medicines. By correcting these misconceptions, pharmacy staff can position themselves as credible advisors,” he continued.

Mr. Walker spoke to delegates about his involvement as an advisor at RB’s recent Pharmacy Forward Masterclass – a 2-day workshop attended by leading pharmacies and designed to help them develop their S3 and health focused front-of-store categories.

“It’s so important pharmacists and pharmacy owners have a mindset focused on differentiated sustainability when it comes to their business. This means having a solid game plan or becoming ‘forward thinking’, establishing a real connection with your customers, and employing effective people that will help you create a winning environment.”

During his presentation, Mr. Walker also explained how consumer behavior and demand was ultimately driving the way pharmacy conducts business and interact with customers – a key change being how staff and customers interact with technology.

Catherine Bronger, community pharmacist and managing partner of Chemistworks in Broadway, Sydney, participated in the Pharmacy Forward Masterclass and has been implementing the program in-store and sharing learnings with her staff.

“I found participating in the Pharmacy Forward Masterclass insightful and rewarding. The weekend workshop assisted me assess my current operations and equipped me with the tools to help my team implement change,” Ms. Bronger said.

“At ChemistWorks Broadway, we established weekly training for pharmacy assistants, which included S3 protocol role plays, delivered by the pharmacist. This training then formed the basis of a Pharmacy Assistant Training Manual, which is now a valuable resource for all staff.”

“Over the last four months, the pharmacy has experienced between a 20-60% increase in S3 category sales which our team is really proud of. These results are similar to the pilot Pharmacy Forward program (PainSmart) and the PSA’s Health Destination Study.”

The Pharmacy Forward online training program is available nationwide for all community pharmacies and accessible online via RBHealthHub.com.au.

For further information or interviews with Brian Walker or Catherine Bronger, please contact Health Haus:  

Shinta Huynh – (02) 8353 5767 / shinta.huynh@healthhaus.net.au

Kate Harper – 0406 186 625 / kate.harper@healthhaus.net.au