World

Major supermarket takes another step into pharmacy sales

Seems like a no-brainer, and it’s certainly successful in other countries, now a supermarket giant is continuing its tentative march into pharmaceutical sales. 

Woolworths bought the non-retail assets, including key technologies and a warehouse, of SuperPharmacy, an online pharmacy group with six stores. Woolworths plans to rebrand the stores to match its Healthy Life Pharmacy subsidiary. 

SuperPharmacy had a previous partnership with Woolworths via the Everyday Rewards program. 

Overseas, pharmacies have been in supermarkets for decades, including in the UK chains of ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury, and in Walmart, Kroger and Publix in the US.

Read: Why you shouldn’t was raw chicken before cooking it

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has previously argued a similar move in Australia would put patients’ health at risk and push independently owned pharmacies out of the market.

The guild said it was monitoring the development.

“We have contacted the pharmacy authorities in all jurisdictions to ensure this partnership meets registration requirements,” a guild spokesperson said.

Australians are well known for being resistant to in-house supermarket services. Big W had in-house optometrists for years but that sank without a trace and we were one of the last countries in the world to have in-house butchers and delis.  

Coles and Woolworths have been more successful with ‘soft’ product lines such as car, home and pet insurance and are gradually absorbing other businesses such as pet supply chains. 

This week’s best deals

IGA

Sensible: Sunrice Medium Grain white or brown rice, 5kg, $9, save $11.85. This is an insanely good special. If the thought of going through 5kg of rice is a bit daunting, share your big bag with a friend and halve the price again.

Indulgence: Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin, $52. It’s summer, so as far as I’m concerned, that means gin and tonic season. This is described as ‘handcrafted’, a term that scores high on the cringe factor, but it’s rated well by experts and is a good price.

See the catalogue here.

Read: Duckweed set to take the foodie world by storm

Coles

Sensible: Beef brisket, $15/kg, save $2/kg. Thanks to the rise of American-style barbecue, beef brisket is becoming a popular cut, elevated from little-known weirdo to hipster darling, although we have had it all along brined and made into corned beef. If you need a good recipe to get you started, we love this one from recipetineats.com.

Indulgence: The Natural Confectionery Co. medium bag, half price at $2. This range kind of makes it okay to eat sweets. They bring out a new line every now and then to spice up the range – this month it’s ‘Beach Days’ with lollies shaped like sea creatures – and they have several half-sugar lines, which just makes me want to eat more to catch up. 

See the catalogue here.

Read: Five tips to help you recession-proof your life

Aldi

Sensible: Killarnee Lamb Loin Chops, $21.99/kg. I’m so old I remember when lamb was under $20/kg. This isn’t there yet, but it’s as close as we are probably ever going to get. This cut has a lot of fat, but that just makes it better on the barbecue. And it’s Australian lamb, so another excuse to watch the latest promotional video. It would be un-Australian not to

Indulgence: Satori Cheddar Cheese with Red Wine, $5.99. I’m not sure I shouldn’t put this in the ‘sensible’ category. Wine and cheese mixed together? Time-saving genius product.

See the catalogue here.

Woolworths

Sensible: Australian truss tomatoes, $2.90/kg. Great price for a great product. When I see the truss tomatoes at about this price, it’s the trigger to make tomato sauce for the year. It’s like childbirth – I forget how hard it is every time but still go back for more.

Indulgence: Extra large Australian cooked tiger prawns, $28/kg, save $8/kg. Supermarket seafood has come a zillion miles since back in the day when there was little more than defrosted cod. In my head I can still smell that nasty yellow insult to fish. We switched to supermarket prawns after our local fishmonger started charging $80/kg and upwards and have not been disappointed.

See the catalogue here.Would you go to a pharmacy in a supermarket? Have you tried it overseas? Why not share your opinions in the comments section below?

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