We have a new pharmacy on the way, and I am not talking about CVS this time. The construction of Southern Pharmacy on Brannen Street is close to completion with an opening date slated for the first two weeks of April.
Stacey Girardeau and Brandon Selph decided to open the pharmacy after working as pharmacists with a large retailer in Statesboro for the last several years.
"We both felt that the corporate mentality took away our ability to provide really good customer service," Girardeau said. "We felt like if we had our own pharmacy, we could do a better job for our customers, and that is what drove our decision."
The pharmacy is located adjacent to Gentilly Square (former location of Winn Dixie) in the same small shopping area as Moe's. At this time, parking for the retail center is being expanded to accommodate the additional customer traffic, and to construct a drive-thru lane for the pharmacy.
Girardeau said he and Selph chose the location for three reasons.
"It is close to a major business district, and there is good access to the property," he said. "Also, it is a convenient location for our existing customers. It doesn't require them to venture far from where they are used to going."
The new pharmacy will be 2,000 square feet, including 1,000 feet of retail space, and will be open Monday through Saturday. Girardeau said he and Selph will be the only two pharmacists initially, with a support staff of eight to ten employees.
I asked Girardeau if he was worried about opening a new pharmacy in the face of stiff local competition, and another major chain on the way.
"I know there is another large chain that will be building here, but I have found that typical, independent pharmacy customers are not going to use chain stores," he said. "They are used to a certain level of customer service, and they value a close working relationship with their pharmacist. So, I don't feel like we necessarily compete directly with chain stores."
If you pass by the pharmacy, you will see that it has catchy signage already in place. "Blue appeals to a lot of people in this area from fans of Georgia Southern to fans of Statesboro High School and Southeast Bulloch." he said.
Girardeau is a Bulloch County native and graduated from pharmacy school at the University of Georgia. Selph received his pharmacy degree from Mercer University, and has lived here for the past 20 years.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
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