(Photo by Paul Struck)
Valley Pharmacy in Cherokee is now a franchise member of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, replacing the former Family Pharmacy franchise the business was affiliated with for more than 20 years.
The name change and new franchise banner resulted from a recent national wholesale merger between the two, with the determination made to merge both of those franchises into the "Good Neighbor" line due to its extensive national recognition and much larger presence in the eastern half of the United States.
The merger now brings together more than 3,000 franchise stores nationally, Valley Pharmacy included. This large cluster allows members greater clout in buying the private label supplies and merchandise from their vendors. Before the change, there were more than 2,000 stores nationwide operating under the Family Pharmacy franchise.
Dale Bartel, owner of Valley Pharmacy in Cherokee, said the store has already changed the exterior and interior signage denoting the change to Good Neighbor Pharmacy. Along with this, Valley Pharmacy also has designed a new logo to accompany the name changes.
"We are still Cherokee County's only locally-owned pharmacy," noted Bartel. "The increased buying power with the Good Neighbor franchise will allow us to continue offering all the comparable products we had with Family Pharmacy. There now will be comparable products at the same or lower prices."
The Good Neighbor network now constitutes the nation's fifth largest pharmacy chain comprised of independent drug store ownership.
In the future, Bartel also advises customers to look for monthly Good Neighbor Pharmacy circulars packed with special values in the Chronicle Times.
Bartel also owns and operates Valley Gifts & More, an adjoining business to Valley Pharmacy at 800 N. 2nd St. (U.S. Highway 59) in North Cherokee.