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Independent group buys coastal Scottish pharmacy for £1.5m

Right Medicine Group managing director Noel Wicks: The pharmacy has a very good reputation
Right Medicine Group managing director Noel Wicks: The pharmacy has a very good reputation

The only independent pharmacy in a remote coastal town in Scotland has been bought by the Right Medicine Pharmacy Group for "in excess of £1,450,000".

The John Kennedy Pharmacy is one of four in Dunoon, a town on the Cowal peninsula, on the west coast of Scotland.

The area also has two Boots branches and one Well pharmacy, and the John Kennedy Pharmacy is “one of the busiest”, dispensing 8,500 items per month, according to property adviser Christie & Co.

Following the previous owner’s retirement, the independent pharmacy was purchased by the Right Medicine Pharmacy Group in April, which now operates 24 pharmacies across Scotland.

John Kennedy, the previous owner, sold the pharmacy for “in excess of the £1,450,000 asking price” after owning the business for 26 years, Christie & Co confirmed.

Reasons behind the acquisition

Right Medicine Group managing director Noel Wicks told C+D the “stunning” location of the pharmacy and its “independent style of service” were key reasons for buying.

“For us, it appealed because it was a well-run pharmacy, it was well fitted out, it had a very good reputation and we tend to favour pharmacies that are the hubs of their local communities,” Mr Wicks said.

The group is based in Stirling, but its pharmacies span from Wick in northern Scotland to Dumfries in the south.

Getting on the ferry – the quickest way to reach the town from the group's head office in Stirling – was a “fun experience”, Mr Wicks said. The location of the pharmacies the group purchases “is not an issue as long as the businesses are run well”, he added.

Mr Wicks credits the dedicated pharmacy staff – who have all been retained – for the branch’s success. Having the group's head office look after many of their pharmacies' back office functions – including data regulations, HR and payroll – means the teams on the frontline can spend more time with customers and less time on administrative duties, he explained.

“People muck in, and the staff wouldn't see patients go without, so that's really what you want to inherit,” he explained.

“That's just as important as the bricks and mortar as far as we're concerned.”

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