1969: the right kind of pharmacy

pharmacy vector

Is the professional-style pharmacy out of date? Is the ‘Chemist-Mart’ on supermarket lines inevitable? These questions were being asked by AJP in October 1969

A report in the October 1969 edition of the AJP covered the launch of a brand new pharmacy in Bulleen, Victoria, that was “the epitome of all that is modern and professional”.

Occupying a “sparking” 1380 square feet (128m²), the pharmacy was co-owned by then Victorian Pharmacy Guild vice-president Ken Walton, and Michael Minehan. It featured an “excellent layout and attractive, uncluttered display of a very wide and comprehensive range of pharmacy-type lines.”

“Nothing jarred as being more suited to a milk bar or supermarket,” the AJP special reporter said.

However, the partners did adopt “suitable” supermarket-inspired ideas, including open bins and mobile racks.

The partners were committed to not competing with local supermarkets on price, saying it was “much saner and more profitable to strongly merchandise those lines which are available only through pharmacy outlets.”

The opening day was judged a massive success, with the 13 assistants “exhausted” and Mr Walton saying he was “somewhat overwhelmed”, especially by a “staggering total of 40 prescriptions.”  

He also described catching one shoplifter “red-handed” trying to run off with two cans of hairspray.

The AJP special reporter concluded by saying: “this new pharmacy typifies the progressive, professional retail approach many would like to see in every neighbourhood.”


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