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At the top of their game

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After winning last year’s Roy Morgan award for customer satisfaction, My Chemist has clinched the first two months of this year… but what really sets them apart?

Earlier this year My Chemist took out the top prize in the “Chemist/Pharmacy of the Year” category for the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards.

And in continuation of their success, the My Chemist brand has clinched Pharmacy of the Month for both January and February this year.

According to Roy Morgan’s survey of more than 9000 customers, 90% of customers rated themselves either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with My Chemist in the latest polls.

It closest competitor in the stakes is Discount Drug Stores, which won Pharmacy of the Month for December 2017, and followed close behind My Chemist in second place in the February scores.

Priceline Pharmacy, Terry White Chemmart, Chemist Warehouse and Guardian join My Chemist as the pharmacy banners at the top of their customer satisfaction game.

So what sets My Chemist apart?

Mario Tascone, Chief operating officer of the My Chemist Retail Group, which also includes Chemist Warehouse, says it’s all about the service that the staff provides.

“My Chemist is one of our original banners so it’s got a lot of staff that have been with us 20-plus years, and in a tough retail environment that staff continues to make the My Chemist brand grow from strength to strength since 1997 when we opened our first My Chemist store,” he tells AJP.

“And it’s a credit to those staff who have been there for that length of time, that they’re getting recognised.”

Mr Tascone says they have not changed anything about their offer in the past few years that would have signalled their rise to success.

“Our offer is always consistent: best range, best prices, best service,” he says.

Industry analyst Bruce Annabel says the Roy Morgan results are “surprising” considering there aren’t many My Chemists in Australia (there are about 50 across the country, as opposed to more than 400 pharmacies for both Chemist Warehouse and Priceline Pharmacy).

It may be a result of a combination of factors that heightens the level of customer satisfaction for My Chemist, he says.

“My experience is first of all, they’re convenient, they’re a bit smaller so it’s easier to get around and find things,” says Mr Annabel.

“Service is a multifaceted thing; it’s not just a friendly shop assistant being nice to you.

“It’s also being able to get help when you need it, being able to sight a product, the ease of finding what you’re looking for.

“Also, that the products you want are in stock. Chemist Warehouse are always in stock and I wouldn’t mind betting that My Chemist runs that same model.”

Mr Annabel says My Chemist still has some elements of the more traditional community style pharmacy, but with lower prices.

“They still play on that price issue, although they don’t compete on the same level as Chemist Warehouse… I’m sure price plays a big part,” he says.

A report released just last month revealed My Chemist Retail Group, including both My Chemist and Chemist Warehouse, holds nearly a full third of the entire community pharmacy market.

According to the latest figures published by IBISWorld, the My Chemist Retail Group holds 29.2% of the pharmacy market share.

Sigma Healthcare holds another 19.9% of the market, while Terry White Group holds 12.5% and Australian Pharmaceutical Industries another 11.6%.

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