Kerr Drug sustains its innovator reputation ... ‘Naturally’

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kerr Drug, North Carolina’s regional pharmacy power, had a busy year in 2010. After shedding 11 stores in the Charleston, S.C., market in 2009, the 90-store chain turned its full focus to serving the healthcare needs of North Carolina’s population.

It was, in retrospect, a wise move. Kerr has launched a series of initiatives in pharmacy care, store design, community health services and iPhone technology at a breathtaking pace, easily sustaining its reputation as one of chain pharmacy’s leading innovators. 

Those innovations are coming both from the pharmacy and clinical-care side of the business, and from the front-end merchandising effort, led by SVP marketing and merchandising Bill Baxley. Key architect of Naturally Kerr, a “store-within-a-store” format that offers natural and organic foods and homeopathic remedies, Baxley is a leader in the chain’s ongoing store renewal project, which has led to constant evolution in store design and development of a groundbreaking hybrid store that blends Kerr’s Community Healthcare Center concept with a full-service drug store, including a front end with improved sightlines and lower gondolas.

The effort may lead to the debut of a new store format in 2011, a company source indicated. 

Kerr’s healthcare innovations remain unrivalled. In partnership with the University of North Carolina, Kerr conducted a pilot study that demonstrated the health and cost-saving benefits of pharmacist-delivered interventions and medication therapy management. It also continues to attract recognition for its community care efforts in diabetes management, smoking cessation, disease prevention, pharmacogenomics and other areas.