The pharmacy as a destination for necessities and more…

La farmacia del domani

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Dear readers, after a few weeks and also in the light of the recent Cosmofarma event, it is timely and interesting to come back to the topic of pharma’s world.

What will be the future of Pharmacies, a sector that knows no crisis despite the downturn in other markets?

For some years now this sector has clearly and profitably embraced the dynamics of retail; today the market features pharmacies that are consolidating, pharmacies likely to close or be absorbed, but above all it is evident the retail chains’ expansion.

As was assumed, the arrival of large groups and the interest of some consortia has led to an increase in the number of points of sale (because now the pharmacy we must consider it so), but above all it has led to proposing to the final consumer an idea of pharmacy not only linked to the need for health but also to personal care and prevention.

It is no coincidence, in fact, that large groups have been developing “private labels” linked to cosmetics and nutraceuticals, products that various customers are beginning to consider as indispensable in their daily lives.

Confirmation also comes from the Cosmofarma fair where companies from these sectors are increasingly present to the detriment of those that until only 10 years ago only offered prescription drugs.

What will be the future of Pharmacies

What will be the future of Pharmacies, a sector that knows no crisis despite the downturn in other markets?

Before leaving the floor to the professionals, we can imagine that the pharmacy of the future will not be a place where only products are sell, but will offer a series of connections and experiences that will further increase the bond with the customer.

Pharmacy has always been considered a proximity destination, the landmark of the neighborhood and the pharmacist is considered a professional you can trust.

However, recently, also because of the recent economic crises, the consumer is paying more and more attention to prices and so-called unofficial products; that is, with the same principles but not branded.

By now it is almost automatic that every pharmacist asks the customer if they want the generic or branded product.

Making a consideration related to customer service, we see that today private pharmacies, or belonging to groups, try to meet all the needs, offering not only drugs, cosmetics and supplements, but also a whole series of other products that until a few years ago it was unthinkable to able to find.

We refer, for example, to the wide selection of products dedicated to our pets or also to products related to the psychological or sexual sphere.

Who knows, maybe one day the pharmacy will have spaces dedicated to psychological support services, physical maintenance or yoga courses.

Will there be pharmacies that will also have pet clinics? Will one day also sell sex shop items?
Maybe even a clinic practice dedicated to physical well-being such as massages and body treatments.

The pharmacy could tomorrow become the point of reference for human being for everything concerning their psychophysical wellbeing. And in terms of retail presentation, what’s going on?

Pharmacies are more and more frequent that have understood the importance of having a display easy to read for the final consumer but above all clear and fast in being able to make the purchase.

The modern pharmacy cannot ignore a product breakdown and especially the ability to be dynamic throughout the year, following what are the natural seasonality of products and the needs of end consumers.

It’s still a long process that hasn’t touched many realities on the market but large-scale retail parapharmacies as well as groups of pharmacy chains know well how important it is to make the pharmacy pleasant to buy and easy to find products.

But let’s hear what Lucia Quarta, Commercial and Sales Director of So.Farma.Morra Group thinks:

Lucia, would you like to introduce us to the company and your business model?

So.Farma.Morra Group, with its 14 branches in Italy, has been operating for 40 years in the sector of drug distribution.

Lucia Quarta, Commercial and Sales Director of So.Farma.Morra Group

Among the 20 companies on the reference market, it ranks among the top 4, serving approximately 8,000 clients each day, including pharmacies, parapharmacies and e-commerce.

With a human capital of 1000 people, it is committed not only to maintaining high quality standards, but to keeping faith with and renewing the “business agreement” with the pharmacist, essentially based on a fundamental principle: “the human relationship”.

Over the years, the business model has evolved greatly, both due to the need for market diversification and the constant commercial “restlessness” that characterizes us and which drives us to always seek out new ideas and stimuli for our teams and customers, to which the company wants to reach not only as a “mere distributor” but as a real partner.

For this reason, in addition to a healthy acquisitions policy, which has served as a booster for rational and consolidated growth, So.Farma.Morra is also present in the parallel drug import market, through the GMM farma brand, the first Italian importer by market share; through the FORMULA FARMACIA brand, the first Italian pharmacist brand product owned by a distributor, with a series of incomparable advantages in terms of service. The newborn Sofarma+ completes the corporate orientation and characterizes its identity, arriving at the pharmacy with a line of highly replaceable commodities products, with certified quality and high profit margins for the pharmacy.

Moreover So.Farma.Morra is also network and retail, through “LINFA relational pharmacy” of which are part not only 8 flagship stores, but also 70 private pharmacies affiliated to the business model.

Those described are the commercial services that we offer to pharmacies and are supported by the continuous internal and logistic evolutions in terms of mechanization and automation of flows and processes, without forgetting the social commitment that sees us involved in redevelopment projects of some territorial areas of our country.

So.Farma.Morra Group approaches the market in a transversal way, touching many segments but above all working intensely to increase, through ethics, professionalism and humanity, its network of relationships between people who are committed to achieving the same objectives.

In 2023, for a company like yours, how important is it to attend a fair like Cosmofarma?

Considering how much the years of the health emergency have kept us hidden from each other, we have taken the opportunity to create, innovate, evolve, and present ourselves at Cosmofarma 2023 with a portfolio full of novelties, to meet the expectations of our customers and partners, who were expecting a great comeback, and we expended an incredible amount of energy not to let them down.

What will be the future of Pharmacies

The great occasion of the fair was used to present us with a single leitmotiv: “tell, tell, tell” everything we have worked on over the years and above all how much desire we had, and still have, to get constant contact with the people who populate pharmacies every day, and together with them we always look for new ways to continue “building together the pharmacy of future” (another of our payoffs).

How was this experience at Cosmofarma and what feedback did you get from the visitors?

The best fair ever! Our stand was literally stormed, our sales and specialist network did not neglect a single pharmacist who stopped by to listen or simply to offer a greeting, and thanks also to our co-exhibitors AlfaSigma and ChocoZero, who have worked with us to create attraction.

In previous fairs we had never developed business on site, but it is also true that, for such a striking return, we decided to face weeks of very intense commercial preparation which produced, in terms of return on investment and image towards the customer, much more than expected results.

We thank Lucia for her contribution also in the analysis of the importance, for the pharmaceutical sector, to having a moment of meeting and sharing of all the aspects related to products and services for the pharmacy, such as Cosmofarma.

We close this article by inviting all readers who have not yet done so to start observing this sector carefully and with different eyes, it will amaze us!

by Paolo Zanardi XT Retail

by AN shopfitting magazine no.175 ©