It is estimated that there are over 20,000 independently owned pharmacies in the United States today. Many people view these pharmacies as an alternative to the big name retailers, but to people in rural communities, these independent pharmacies may be the only ones around for miles and miles. Regardless of whether the local market is highly competitive or not, these independent pharmacies are thriving in today’s society.
Why do customers choose an independent pharmacy over a well-known retailer? According to Consumer Reports, many people choose independent pharmacies over chain pharmacies because of the customer service and easy access to the pharmacist. Customers want to be able to ask their pharmacist questions about their medications, discuss their concerns, and learn about the side effects of each of their prescriptions. However, it’s not so easy to talk to a pharmacist when you visit a chain drugstore or big box retailer. Pharmacists are often hidden from view working in the back of the pharmacy, which means you will only get to interact with a technician who has not had nearly as much training as a pharmacist. But at independent pharmacies, not only do you have access to the pharmacist, but you will slowly build up a relationship with him or her over time so you’re not just another nameless customer. Independent pharmacies tend to value each of their customers and get to know them on a personal basis, which is something today’s customers truly enjoy.
Independent pharmacies tend to fill prescriptions for their customers much faster than chain pharmacies do, too. This means you may not have to drop off your prescription and come back a few hours later—instead, you can save yourself the trip and wait around as your prescription is filled. Whereas chain stores want you to wait around longer so you can browse through other items in the store and end up spending way more than you planned, independent pharmacy owners are only concerned with getting you in and out as quickly as possible.
Chain pharmacies usually do not have close ties to the community because they are located throughout a specific region of the country. However, people who own independent pharmacies tend to be heavily involved in the community. In fact, the National Community Pharmacists Association reports that 59% of owners and 12% of their employees are members of the Chamber of Commerce, and 41% of owners provide monetary support to over ten organizations in the community. Another 26% provide monetary support to between 5-9 organizations within the community. These statistics show the depth of the relationship between a typical independent pharmacy and the community.
It’s no wonder so many customers prefer having their prescriptions filled at independent pharmacies. With friendly and attentive employees, helpful pharmacist, and a dedication to their community, independent pharmacies have truly made their mark in the retail industry.
To learn more about how Mr. Checkout Distributors can help you reach independent pharmacy owners, contact us today.