Well Pharmacy, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy chain, has announced a £3.54m investment in its bricks-and-mortar pharmacies to attract more customers to bring their prescriptions to the stores.
The cash, which will be invested during the next 12 months, will be spent on refitting 18 existing pharmacies. An additional £450,000 has been earmarked for full “top to bottom” refits of three pharmacies that are in urgent need of refurbishment.
In June 2018, John Nuttall, chief executive of Well Pharmacy, told The Pharmaceutical Journal that the chain had no plans to close stores and was committed to keeping open stores that were at “a marginal level of profitability”. Following the new announcement, Nuttall said that the pharmacies selected for refurbishment were already profitable, and the chain believes they will deliver the highest return on investment.
“With the raising demand in prescriptions and the increase in the number of customers stepping into our pharmacies, our bricks and mortar estate is more important than ever,” he added. “By making this investment it will allow us to become more efficient and improve the customer experience, something that is a key part of our strategy.”
Tracy Barton, retail stores director at Well, said the chain had “identified pharmacies where they believe that if we invest in the physical store, more customers will choose to bring their prescription to us, and we’ll be able to demonstrate a significant uplift in performance”. The cash would also be used, in part, to upgrade staff areas within the pharmacies, she said.