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Omega buys pharmacy to understand customers

Will turn Warman-Freed in North London into ‘learning pharmacy’
warman freed pharmacy

Omega Pharma has acquired a pharmacy in North London to improve its understanding of the customer experience.

Omega, which specialises in over-the-counter medicines, now owns Warman-Freed store in Golders Green with the intention of turning it into the UK's first community 'learning pharmacy'.

According to Retail Times, Omega won't introduce changes to the store but will instead use the experiences of its customers to gain information about how the retailer is used by the local community, including the products they like and what improvements are needed to services.

Once this information is obtained Omega then plans to remodel the store based on the preferences of its customers with the aim of improving engagement.

Omega does not plan on keeping the information obtained to itself and will share learnings with stakeholders in community pharmacy so wider changes can be made.

As for the practicalities of the matter, the 30 current members of staff will remain although they will now be headed by Liam Stapleton who joins Warman-Freed as pharmacy superintendent.

Stapleton, former head of education and training at the National Pharmacy Association, said: “Omega Pharma is leading the way in their mission to understand what makes pharmacy tick and I'm thrilled to be part of this revolutionary new venture.

He added: “Crucially, this project only exists because we are hoping to get an insight into how a typical community pharmacy operates, and it is evident that Warman-Freed is an integral part of the Golders Green community.”

The value of community pharmacies in the UK was recently highlighted by a report by Durham University. The research found that 89 per cent of people in England live within a 20-minute walk of a pharmacy, while that proportion rises to nearly 100 per cent for people in deprived areas.

The potential for pharmacies in deprived areas is especially important as this goes against the 'inverse care law' – a theory that suggests good medical care is most available to those who need it least.

Neil Lister, general manager of Omega Pharma UK, said: “By gathering insights in a real environment we feel the industry will benefit from enriched learnings that truly reflect the business reality.

“This initiative isn't about Omega Pharma's commercial strategy; this is about driving positive change for the industry as a whole so that together we can make sophisticated and evidence-based business decisions centred on pharmacy retailers and the patient.”

22nd August 2014

From: Sales, Marketing, Healthcare

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