The Pharmacy Co-op is ready for growth

The Pharmacy Co-op retail group is ready to expand and is now accepting expressions of interest from like-minded pharmacy owners throughout New Zealand.

The Pharmacy Co-op represents 30 member pharmacies many of whom have been foundation members as the group systems and processes were developed by retail consultant John Saywell over the last two years.

To gain maximum benefit from the group pharmacies must agree to implement retail planograms and instore signage on a core range of OTC products identified by Saywell and his RPM Retail consulting team.

“This group is not for everyone” Saywell stresses. There is quite a high barrier to entry which requires a commitment from the pharmacy owner and their retail staff to implement new planograms, adopt the core range, remove non-core products and put in place professional instore signage and ticketing.

New members pay a $2000 joining fee and purchase a $1000 shareholding in Composite Retail Cooperative. Ongoing monthly fees of $500 help to cover support office costs such as the group’s online Info Portal, the RPM ordering software, point-of-sale ticketing and ongoing negotiations with suppliers.

The Pharmacy Co-op members use the RPM software to automatically generate two-weekly orders on the core range which are sent to their co-operative pharmacy wholesaler (CDC or PWL) to receive higher discounts negotiated with key suppliers.

The average member has seen their overall retail Gross Margin improve by +2%,

an increase in OTC sales,

and a decrease in stock holding.

Mr Saywell says that every retail pharmacy needs to optimize their performance in these areas in order to remain profitable in the face of increasing business costs.

The Pharmacy Co-op is forming partnerships with suppliers of core retail products and is concentrating on negotiations with 15 suppliers whose products make up most of the core range. These suppliers meet with the Co-op buying panel four times a year to discuss new products, pricing and promotional activity.

Composite Retail’s CEO Ian Caulfield says “Every supplier we have spoken to has recognised the need for another group to support pharmacy owners, and a number have said that without this type of support many of New Zealand’s 600 independent pharmacies are slipping further behind the bigger groups in the industry”.

The Pharmacy Co-op plans to grow to over 100 pharmacies making it an important player in New Zealand’s pharmacy scene.

For more information: Ian Caulfield, CEO Composite Retail Co-operative Ph 09 9186473

John Saywell, CEO RPM Retail Ph 03 3777616

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