Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist October 2016 Contents Australian Pharmacist October 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 69
Blooms The Chemist was also awarded
a 5-star rating for service, advice, range
of health products health management
programs, and a 4-star rating for value
for money, pharmacist availability and
range of beauty products stocked. The
customer satisfaction ratings were
based on the answers of 2,619 survey
Train young pharmacists
Mr Smith said Blooms had worked
closely with the University of Sydney
to attract graduates and continued to
attract graduates -- many of whom had
worked with the group during their
study years -- to then complete their
intern year with Blooms, and then go
on to be equity partners in a business
'We work with them [young people].
They get to learn the Blooms way. We
get to see if they are keen on a career
in pharmacy and perhaps ownership
models or whether or not they are like
most of the population under 30 and are
going to have 5--10 jobs before they're
30 -- unlike my day.
'We have all of the services that are
offered by our competitors. There may
be some variation but at the end of the
day we are all offering health services.
It is really how we deliver it and how we
work with our customers to develop a
point of difference.
'We don't go off to conferences and
play golf. We go off to conferences and
study retail environments. We'll be in
New York and we will do case studies on
Walgreens and we'll understand what
Walgreens are doing.
'We will understand exactly how
retailers become number 1 market
shareholders in whatever format they
are in because they are in the retail
game. So if you think that whilst you
have the dispensary and professional
health services, 80% of our floor space is
in the retail game where the consumer
can pretty much buy that merchandise,
or that range in other retail formats.
'Why is it that Abercrombie & Fitch are
number 1? We do case studies. We do
site visits and we do a whole lot of work
to understand what it is about those
retailers that has accelerated them
into the stratosphere of market share
leaders, and indeed, global leaders in
'I'm a retailer, not a pharmacist.
I'm a retailer first and for me these
pharmacies whilst they are very highly
experienced, intelligent pharmacists
-- and we certainly don't want them
dispensing drugs to the Australian
community that are not correct or in the
right dosages -- but at the end of the day
I've got to make them more holistic if
they are going to be successful and get
the most out of their businesses.
'So far we've had three years of double
digit growth. In all of the surveys that
we've got -- they [customers] are all
pretty happy -- a difficult thing to
achieve in the pharmacy game.'
A regional focus
Blooms has strategically focussed on
regional Australia rather than the capital
cities because it sees plenty of plenty of
room for growth in regional and rural
'Provided you can find the pharmacists
who can fit into those communities
and are prepared to build a business
and build a life... it is much more
beneficial on everyone's part if we can
do that rather than concentrate and
focus on inner city shopping centres
and do battle with the landlords
who quite frankly are fairly inflexible,'
Mr Smith said.
Attracting pharmacists to regional areas
can be difficult. While not as easy as
getting them to go to the Gold Coast
or the coastal regional areas, some,
Mr Smith said, 'are certainly up for it and
each time we've had an opportunity we
have managed to find the right folk.'
'They come from somewhere to study in
the first place. If they are from a country/
regional area they are actually quite
happy to go to even another country
regional area because that's kind of
their roots. That's where they have come
from. If they've come from Wagga or
Dubbo, or another big town they are
quite happy to go to another regional
centre and build their lives.'
Mr Smith has no doubt the customer
focus and having pharmacists out front
talking to people is a critical part of
'Are we there yet? No we are not. We
are certainly not there yet. But we are
on our way to recognising the need for
it and we are certainly on our way to
getting more and more of our people to
'We've still got a long way to go but
there is no doubt that it is a critical step
in the focus on customers.'
ˆ Blooms CEO Phil Smith
In all of the surveys that
we've got -- they [customers]
are all pretty happy --
a difficult thing to achieve in
the pharmacy game.
-- Phil Smith
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