Publix sees pharmacy as a growth engine
Just a day after Target announced plans to sell its pharmacy operations to CVS to concentrate on its core business, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Publix is looking to expand its pharmacy operations in Central Florida. Clearly Publix sees pharmacy as integral to its growth plans in the Sunshine State and beyond.
The grocery chain is looking to acquire a warehouse, west of Orlando Airport, to help more effectively and efficiently supply prescription medicines to stores in the local market and across the Southeast. The chain has applied for tax exempt incentives to help finance the effort.
Part of the reason Publix may see pharmacy as a key to the chain’s success is the number of senior citizens in its customer base. The percentage of persons 65 and older is the highest in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. The percentage of seniors in Florida was 18.7 percent in 2013, compared to the national average of 14.1 percent.
According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, "Health, United States, 2014," 55.6 percent of people between the ages of 55 and 64 took between one and four prescription medicines in the past 30 days (2009 – 2012) and 20.3 percent took more than five. Medicines to treat cardiovascular conditions, cholesterol, gastric reflux, diabetes and depression all increased compared to findings in similar research conducted between 1999 and 2002.
- Publix plans $15.6M expansion of pharmacy operations – Orlando Sentinel (tiered sub.)
- Quick Facts – U.S. Census Bureau
- Trends and statistics relating to U.S. seniors, elderly: Census Bureau 2014 report – Journalist’s Resource
- Health, United States, 2014 With Special Feature on Adults Aged 55-64 – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Are pharmacy operations more important to supermarkets such as Publix than to Target and other mass merchandisers? How important is pharmacy to Publix’s brand image and, ultimately, its business performance?