Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 88
Pharmaca also recently acquired a location in Beverly
Hills, Calif., and hopes to purchase up to six more stores.
But the company has important criteria it follows with
Not only must the location be a strong performer, but it
also must be in an area "that we think is open the concept
of integrative medicine," Willis says, noting that this process
is easier than opening a new store. "It's hard to get a new
pharmacy to break even."
Pharmaca strives to focus on delivering strong
customer experiences with high-quality
products and in-store service.
Pharmaca continues to focus on the customer experience
in its stores. "We like to think of it as an oasis when people
come in," Willis says. "It smells good, the products are of
the highest quality and they're on the cutting edge of ingredient research.
"That's really valuable to the customer," Willis says, noting that the company works hard to make sure it has the
very latest products in its stores and available on its website.
"We try to make our website as similar as we can to the store
experience," he says, noting that two years ago Pharmaca
assigned its head of marketing, Laura Coblentz, to manage
its web presence.
"She was the right person," Willis says, noting that
e-commerce represents 13 percent of Pharmaca's business.
"It's profitable and provides valuable data for us as we look
at other potential markets to go into."
In-store service also is a focus for the company. "We try to
make sure that when somebody comes in the store, it's the
best experience it can be," he says, adding that this service
model was the main focus of its recent summit with store
and pharmacy managers and lead practitioners.
Although Pharmaca has always had a good relationship
with its customers, "We looked at what we're doing and
said, 'We need to step that up further,'" Willis says. "[We're]
making sure that our employees know how important it is
to take care of those customers."
Willis is proud of his team at Pharmaca, including the employees operating its new Chicago location. "They're doing
a terrific job getting the store ready to open as a Pharmaca,"
he says, adding that he would like to open more locations in
the Windy City.
Pharmaca's plans also include selling the company, Willis
adds. "Hopefully, we'll be able to put it some bigger hands
and really make the concept explode onto the marketplace
nationally," he says. O