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First Smart Pharmacy In Auckland

July 3, 2006

First Smart Pharmacy In Auckland

Pharmacybrands has opened its first Auckland-based Smart Pharmacy store at 280 Queen St, the second Smart Pharmacy store in New Zealand.

The Smart Pharmacy model has larger stores than what New Zealanders are used to and features user-friendly layouts such as checkouts at the front of the store, clear signage, larger product ranges, and competitive prices.

The new store is 414 sq metres, almost two times the size of a standard New Zealand pharmacy. It has more than 8,000 different health and beauty products, as well as prescription medicines.

Pharmacybrands' CEO Alan Wham said Smart Pharmacy was a direct response to industry deregulation and a changing competitive landscape. The new model has been extensively researched during the past two years.

"Smart Pharmacy builds on local research and global best practice to provide a retail offering based on outstanding levels of professional service, broad consumer choice, convenience and value," Mr Wham said.

Pharmacybrands aims to introduce a franchise offering by the end of 2006 and the Queen St store is the second of up to 100 Smart Pharmacy stores. The first Smart Pharmacy store was opened in February in Palmerston North and has been positively received with sales and customer numbers continuing to increase.

Mr Wham said Pharmacybrands was receiving a lot of interest in the Smart Pharmacy model from existing Pharmacybrands licensees (Amcal, Unichem and Dispensary First), as well as independent pharmacies.

The owners of the Queen St store are pharmacists Sunil Kumar and Glynis Yacoub. Mr Kumar, who has been a pharmacist for 19 years, has owned the Grey Lynn Amcal pharmacy for 13 years, the past two under the Amcal brand. Ms Yacoub has worked with Mr Kumar at his Grey Lynn store and most recently was dispensary manager at Massey Amcal Pharmacy in Auckland.

Both Mr Kumar and Ms Yacoub said they were delighted to be on board the new Smart Pharmacy.

Ms Yacoub: "The new model is compelling because it gives pharmacists more opportunity to provide outstanding professional care to customers."

Mr Kumar: "Because we don't have to concentrate on the retail side of the business - that is centrally managed by Pharmacybrands - we can focus on the needs of people who require prescriptions and advice."

The new Queen St store will employ up to 20 staff.


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