Editor’s note: Commitment is key
Albertsons is a standout among pharmacy operators
Good for the goose, good for the gander?
Not always. Take, for example, QuickCheck, a New York area-based convenience store operation that announced in late October that it was closing its nine pharmacies in stores scattered throughout New Jersey to focus on its vibrant fresh food and beverages business.
By most accounts, the chain no longer saw the value in operating a pharmacy and, some said, its top officials have come to realize that if you want to be in the pharmacy business, it is a case of being all in or all out. They chose out.
Albertsons, who earlier this month was the recipient of Drug Store News’ 2018 Pharmacy Innovator of the Year Award, is a case of being all in with the pharmacy. As we discuss in our cover story this month, Albertsons officials are making it clear that they are covering all the bases and leaving no stone unturned with their pharmacy operation in order to better serve their patients and maximize the financial potential of the category.
That is a hefty task. The Boise, Idaho-based chain operates roughly 1,800 pharmacies across 35 states and under 20 different banners, including its namesake Albertsons banner, as well as Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco and Acme operations. Thousands of pharmacists and other employees are involved in this part of the business, and the logistics of keeping everyone happy — customers and employees — is complex and confusing. Government regulations, keeping up with new technologies, and drugs and healthcare issues, including working with insurance companies, only dramatically compound the situation.
But Albertsons’ officials get the job done and, as we came to see in a few days of interviews at the company’s headquarters in Boise, they get it done by creating an intricate strategy built around teamwork. They also get it done by concentrating on “scripts, standards and service,” and paying a huge amount of attention to their consumer needs at the pharmacy.
The pharmacy operation of the future will look much different than it did just a few years ago, and even now. The retailers who stay ahead of the curve will continue to thrive in this business. Albertsons, it appears, is one of those retailers that plan on being at the forefront of this industry for the near term and well into the future. We are proud to recognize them for their efforts and many successes.
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