Sixth Avenue Medical Pharmacy Inc., of Spokane, has bought the assets of another independent pharmacy, the 60-year-old Fifth & Browne Pharmacy.
Erik Nelson, owner of Sixth Avenue Medical Pharmacy, says he plans to close the Fifth & Browne operation, located at 104 W. Fifth, this week and merge its operations into the Sixth Avenue pharmacy, which is located in a 2,500-square-foot space on the ground floor of the Sixth Avenue Medical Building, at 508 W. Sixth.
The Sixth Avenue pharmacy has six employees, including two pharmacists, and Nelson says his company is hiring two technicians who have worked at Fifth & Browne. He says the pharmacy employs five people. Of the three that Sixth Avenue isn’t bringing on, he says, two are retiring and one is going elsewhere.
One of the people retiring is Fifth & Browne owner and pharmacist Kelly Armstrong. Nelson says Armstrong approached him about buying her pharmacy about a year ago, and, “It blossomed to this from that.”
Nelson says the primary assets in the acquisition are the client base and prescription files.
With more customers, Sixth Avenue pharmacy plans to expand its hours to include being open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in addition to being open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Nelson has owned Sixth Avenue pharmacy for a year and a half. He bought the business from longtime pharmacist Jerry Stocker, who founded the pharmacy in 1964.
As a pharmacy student at Washington State University, Nelson interned at the Sixth Avenue pharmacy. At the same time, he and some classmates entered the National Community Pharmacy Association’s annual business plan competition and modeled their entry after the Sixth Avenue pharmacy. The group of students won the competition that year.
“Then I decided to come back and implement that plan,” Nelson says.
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