Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 87
Right on Track
Willis joined Pharmaca last year. "This is the eighth company that I've been a president and CEO of," he says, explaining that his specialty is in helping companies make
"For the first 15 years, Pharmaca wasn't making money,
so that's why in January 2016 they asked me to come in
and help with that," he recalls. "We made a decent margin
last year, and hopefully we're on track to continue that upward trend."
In January 2017, the private-equity firms that owned the
majority of Pharmaca did a recapitalization and simplified
the capital structure.
"They put some money in and I put some money in to
help propel the company forward," he continues.
These funds are being invested in the company's growth
through the acquisition of other pharmacies. After it purchases a pharmacy, Pharmaca will change the location's
storefront and bring in its lines of alternative and wellness
products, Willis says.
Pharmaca recently bought and renovated a pharmacy in
Chicago. "We changed over all the pharmacy systems and
had it back up and running the following Monday," Willis
says, adding that the company takes pride in quickly turning
around its locations.
"During these transitions, it's essential that we continue
to take care of our patients," Willis says. "You can't close
down for a long period of time."