Pharmacy brand to employ 750 by 2018

A new retail pharmacy brand hopes to employ in the region of 750 people around the country within the next four years.

Celebrations in Westport when  Mr Oliver Mc Guinness cuts the tape for the official opening of O' Donnells  totalhealth  Pharmacy. Pic: Frank Dolan

Yesterday saw the launch of the newest name to hit the Irish high street; Totalhealth Pharmacy — a network of 40 existing independently-owned chemists currently undergoing a €4m re-brand and overhaul.

The group plans to increase its store numbers — mainly via the signing up of more existing independents to its network — to over 160 by 2018, which in turn would see it increase its staff numbers from 250 to around 750 over the same timeframe.

O’Donnell’s Pharmacy in Westport, which is soon to be rebranded O’Donnell’s Totalhealth Pharmacy, is the first official re-opening and it is expected to be followed by openings in Cork, Limerick, Roscommon, Castlebar, Tuam, Stillorgan, and Dublin during the first quarter of next year.

The group’s chairman, Ollie McGuinness, called the news “a real milestone” both for the evolution of the retail pharmacy sector, and in terms of the sustainability of the independently owned community chemist.

“Totalhealth will bring all the benefits of being part of a large retail brand and buying group to the local independent pharmacy, while strongly promoting and enhancing the unique position and contribution of the local pharmacist to the community,” he said.

“Our vision is to create something new, something innovative and fresh in pharmacy retailing; a unique total health offering that is better for the independent pharmacist, better for the customer and better for the community. Trusted and local care are the core values reflected in the brand,” Mr McGuinness added.

The new network also promises to be the only Irish-based pharmacy symbol group to offer retail pharmacists ownership through a shareholding in the group, whilst at the same time maintaining complete control and ownership of their own stores.

“We believe that totalhealth can offer the Irish independent pharmacy a real way forward to thrive in an ever challenging and competitive environment. The pharmacist keeps control and ownership of their business, while being able to leverage the benefits of a national consumer brand and buying group,” said the group’s commercial director, John Arnold.

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