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Hub pharmacy group CEO reveals expansion plans for 2017

Steve Jeffers: We’re not interested in retail-orientated pharmacies

The Hub pharmacy group is hoping to acquire up to eight branches this year, CEO Steve Jeffers has revealed.

The chain – which is concentrated in the north of England – almost doubled in size last year, expanding from 11 to 21 pharmacies.

Mr Jeffers is hoping to "add another six to eight pharmacies" in 2017, he told C+D in an exclusive interview earlier this month (January 13).

These pharmacies could be located “anywhere north of Derby, up to the Scottish border”, he said.

“There’s plenty of opportunities in that geographical patch, and we have investors who have a strong belief in our management team,” he told C+D.

“We’re very selective about the [branches] we buy. We’re not interested in retail-orientated pharmacies, because that’s not our business model,” Mr Jeffers said.

“We take the time to understand a business before we buy it. Crucially, we always listen to the staff that we’ve inherited and modify [our] plans before we refurbish,” he added.

Mr Jeffers predicted that the number of pharmacies hitting the market would rise in 2017, as the impact of the funding cuts and extra complexities around the funding model begin to sink in.

However, the Hub pharmacy team “still believes the long-term future of pharmacy is a viable one financially”, he stressed.

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Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

Mcdonalds is also a much more pleasant environment to work in than your typical multiple community pharmacy.

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

From what I understand, McDonalds does not get government granted cartel protection from competition nor does it get a taxpayer funded minimum income guarantee. Furthermore, from what I understand, McDonalds is a very efficiently run business and does not offshore its tax obligations (the U.K. is now its tax base). 

Therefore, I think it is very unfair to slur the name of McDonalds by comparing it to community pharmacy. 

Arun Bains, Community pharmacist

Shaun... if I ever see you around... I'm buying you a beer.

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

I expect there are a lot of similarly sized group chains who think exactly the same. 2017 will shake out quite a few contractors who just want to throw in the towel, bank the cheque and say goodbye to being a contractor.

I'm sure there are financial backers who will see a very good potential return from community pharmacy but not the type of business patients saw in the past. 2017 will be a big year for the McDonaldisation of pharmacy.

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