Where There’s A Corner, There’s A Drugstore

Feb 27, 2004

By George Anderson

According to a report in the St. Petersburg Times, there seems to be a chain drugstore popping up on the corner of every heavy intersection in the Tampa, Fla. area.

The article’s author, Kris Hundley, wonders if all this new construction isn’t more about cannibalizing business than customer service.

Not true, say industry experts.

Richard Hastings, vice president and chief retail analyst with Bernard Sands in Charlotte, N.C., says, “Florida is more the exception to the rule because there are so many more
older adults.”

Erik Gordon, a marketing professor at Johns Hopkins University, agrees.

“There are probably some areas where you don’t need any more drugstores, but the industry as a whole is not oversaturated, like fast-food places or shoe stores in malls.”

Craig Sher, president and chief executive of Sembler Co., a Florida real estate developer says, “Clearly, in America we love to overdo things. And the prospect of overbuilding
is out there. But I’d say we’re in balance now. And we’re still growing in Florida on average by about 300,000 residents a year, so I think it merits increases in stores based
on demographics.”

Moderator’s Comment: Are there too many drugstores? Where do you see the greatest threat
to the continued development of the chain drug business?

Our vote goes to health benefit organizations that require consumers to order maintenance drug prescriptions in three-month batches via mail order.
Anderson – Moderator

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