Pharmacy Times

Sav-Mor Pharmacy: Marketing From the Inside Out

Author: Kerry Philbeck, QS/1 Staff Writer

The Illinois pharmacy chain has attained success as a result of good planning and successful marketing strategies.

Properly planning and designing your pharmacy starts with a blueprint and encompasses everything from store layout and aisle placement to marketing and advertising. Not only are you designing for the here and now, you are also looking down the road to anticipated trends and services, as well as to your pharmacy’s future growth. There is no end to this process. As technology evolves and more modern-day conveniences emerge, competition among pharmacies increases. Customers want it all: a pharmacy that can handle their prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) needs at an affordable cost, while providing a welcoming store environment.
 
Dave Falk, president and owner of Sav-Mor Pharmacy, has enjoyed a great degree of success, largely resulting from good planning and successful marketing strategies. Located throughout Illinois, Sav-Mor Pharmacy’s 12 stores continue to grow and expand while retaining a loyal customer base.
 
The Sav-Mor in Tuscola, Illinois, recently moved into a new 6000-square-foot store that provides increased convenience. “We moved from a downtown setting with little parking and no possibility of a drive-thru window,” Falk said. “The building was 100 years old and in constant need of costly repairs. Our new location is a free-standing building with ample parking and a drive-thru window.” He added that the old location was very cramped and didn’t offer enough space to comfortably fit the gift, card, and OTC departments.
 
The newest Sav-Mor store is located in Mount Zion, Illinois. It features a range of modern conveniences appreciated by pharmacy staff and customers alike.
 
The spacious new store features a PharmaSmart blood pressure monitoring station that can share patients’ readings with their physician via a secure website.
 
Falk stresses that marketing to customers begins before they even enter the store and continues well after they leave. “Marketing begins with your staff,” he said. “Our personal service and the dedication of our staff to deliver an experience that is second to none in personal attention to each customer is the highlight of our personal marketing.”
 
Additionally, new customers receive personal letters from the pharmacist thanking them for choosing Sav-Mor and offering the pharmacist’s assistance in the future.
 
For mainstream marketing, Sav-Mor uses radio and print advertising, as well as cable television and direct-mail post cards. An electronic sign on the building keeps customers informed of store announcements.
 
Just as important as a good marketing strategy is a store layout that encourages customers to make themselves at home and take some time to explore and shop. “Our store layouts are designed to give our pharmacy customers the ability to easily shop our gift and card departments without getting too far from the pharmacy counter,” said Falk. “Endcaps are utilized for seasonal and promotional items and are rotated frequently.”
 
Dave Falk and his staff have built a successful business by putting customers first in all ways. Expanding some pharmacies and moving others will do more than give him room to place extra inventory. It will allow him to make his customers feel comfortable in a more welcoming environment.