Consumers Will Not Forget Elephant Pharmacy Experience
By George Anderson
Elephant Pharmacy isn’t your typical drugstore.
The two-store business, which first opened in 2001, offers the same services and many of the same products as other drugstores, but it also markets a wide range of complementary medicines and services, such as in-store acupuncturists, nutritionists and yoga classes. The company’s web site even describes Elephant Pharmacy as “the drug store that prescribes yoga.”
Kathi Lentzsch, chief executive officer of Elephant, told The Wall Street Journal, “People are beginning to question some of the traditional pharmaceuticals, so they are looking for alternative ways to treat themselves. We’re sort of turning the traditional drugstore on its head.”
Among the interesting stories behind the Elephant Pharmacy tale is that CVS is one of the investors in the company and holds a seat on its board of directors.
CVS has the advantage of having Elephant Pharmacy’s experience serve as a learning lab for the large chain.
In a company statement, CVS said, “Elephant’s innovative combination of alternative therapies and conventional pharmacy services is a promising model that appeals to a patient population who are taking an increasingly proactive role in their health and well-being.”
Ms. Lentzsch said Elephant Pharmacy is planning to open three Bay Area stores during 2007 in addition to its current locations in Berkeley and San Rafael. The company hopes to expand to southern California and eventually to areas around the country, such as Cambridge, Mass., that fit its consumer demographic target.
“We are so committed to the niche,” Ms. Lentzsch said. “We have people who count behind us, people who believe in us.”
Moderator’s Comment: Is Elephant Pharmacy the future of drugstores? Will it play in places outside of its Bay area
backyard? – George Anderson – Moderator