Rampant consolidation in the chain drugstore industry has led to the handful of small, regional operators picked up by the big giants in the US. In the suburban and major cities where chains operate within blocks of one another, often selling very similar items, the sameness of the stores operated by the big chains is breeding new hope for independent drugstores to rise once again. According to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores ‘Chain Pharmacy Industry Profile’ : Surprisingly, there was a 2.3 percent increase in independent pharmacy locations in 2009-outpacing the growth of chains.
In many cases, pharmacists who have experience at a chain are busting out on their own, often buying up spaces available in emerging downtown markets. They are augmenting their pharmacy counters with high-end beauty products, and are adding department-store-trained beauty consultants. Beauty companies looking to expand doors without going into big chains see fertile territory in these independents. In some ways, this mimics the growth of the chain drugstore industry when pharmacists started opening stores and kept growing.
Posted on: 8.12.2010