WOOSTER, Ohio — Buehler’s Food Market, a 13-store chain here, is in the final phase of selling its 11 pharmacies to independent Ritzman Pharmacies in Wadsworth, Ohio.
Both retailers signed letters of intent of a business partnership earlier this year.
The acquisition is expected to close in the next few months, giving Buehler’s not only a pharmacy operator with a reputation for excellent service but one that is known for integrating natural supplements with its pharmacy operation.
“What separates Ritzman from most pharmacies is that we are very much interested in natural products and supplements and how they fit into the role of prescriptions and medications,” Robin Barnby, vice president of marketing and medical services for Ritzman, told SN.
Ritzman’s will sell its private label natural supplement line through the pharmacies at Buehler’s.
Buehler’s currently has about 60 pharmacy associates on staff. While Ritzman doesn’t plan to reduce staff at Buehler’s, it will evaluate individual associates, said Barnby.
The acquisition would increase Ritzman’s footprint that comprises nine locations and a home infusion and specialty packaging pharmacy unit.
Buehler’s is selling the pharmacies to better focus on its core business, according to a previously released statement.
“Our focus is on our customers and the assurance to receive the same service they have come to expect,” said Dan Buehler, the retailer’s president, in the press statement.
Barnby said that while the acquisition is being made to increase their footprint and buying power, operating out of a supermarket is a new format.
“We are trying to learn as much about supermarkets and pharmacies within supermarkets and accumulate as much knowledge as possible to make sure we serve these customers and continue to grow the pharmacy business,” said Barnby.