Sunday, November 09, 2008

Windsor's independent pharmacists caught in drug war crossfire

From the Windsor Star:
The mural of an old-fashioned, small-town apothecary on the window of Steve Gavrilidis's South Windsor pharmacy reflects the personal service he provides inside -- his best, perhaps only, defence against the rapid expansion of competing national drugstore chains.

Like hundreds of independent pharmacists across the province, Gavrilidis finds himself caught in the crossfire of Ontario's drug war -- the battle for market supremacy being waged between Shoppers Drug Mart and upstart Rexall.

"They're chasing each other and nipping at each other's heels, taking away from guys like me," said Gavrilidis. "Everybody wants a piece of the pie and the pie is getting smaller."
The Pharma Health independent pharmacy has found a niche providing the personal touch. Pharmacist Steve Gavrilidis assists customers in the comfort

Like Burger King and McDonald's at the height of the burger wars, the two drugstore chains are rapidly expanding across the province, acquiring independent outlets and opening new stores in each other's shadows. In Goderich earlier this month, Rexall and Shoppers both opened stores in the span of a week.

"Rexall is out to get Shoppers' market share and that's the bottom line," said retired University of Windsor business professor Alfie Morgan. "It's a competitive battle between two giants." ...more

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