Good Pharm Wants to Give Israeli Drugstores a Run for Their Money

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Shoppers queue up at the new Good Pharm store in Tel Aviv, August 16, 2016.
Shoppers queue up at the new Good Pharm store in Tel Aviv, August 16, 2016.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

After Cofix gave Israel's cafe chains a run for their money when it began selling coffee — and everything else on their menu — at 5 shekels a cup ($1.30), the drugstore sector is having its turn, with the opening on Tuesday of the first branch of Good Pharm.

The store is offering a variety of toiletries and other items for no more than 10 shekels a piece, although the items are not necessarily the same size as the competition’s. However, a spot check of its offerings revealed that at least some of the products are being sold at a substantial discount.

The first Good Pharm store is located on King George Street in Tel Aviv, and the company said it plans to have an additional 25 stores open by the end of the year. Its merchandise includes a range of brands, including Colgate, Aquafresh and Oral-B toothpaste; Dove, Elvive and L’Oreal shampoos and body wash; Nivea, Rexona, Axe and Speed Stick deodorants; Always and Alldays feminine hygiene products; and a range of Careline, Crema, Dr. Fischer and Kleenex products.

Adam Friedler, and Ohad Sandler.Credit: Moti Milrod

Good Pharm has also announced that it will be selling BabySitter brand disposable diapers in various sizes at a flat price of 1.90 shekels per diaper. In the future, the retailer promises to also sell packages of 15 diapers for 10 shekels each, or 66 agorot per diaper. In addition, Good Pharm expects to sell products under its house brand, Good, including eyeglasses, contact lenses and toiletry items. The retailer’s stores will not have pharmacy counters for filling prescriptions.

Good Pharm was founded by Adam Friedler, an accountant and serial entrepreneur, and by businessman Ohad Sandler, who has experience in the cafe business. The initial investment for the new venture came from the Jewish American Grass family. The late Alex Grass was the founder of the Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid pharmacy chain, which is slated to be sold to Walgreens.

Freidler and Sandler met with representatives of the Grass family, who were involved in the planning of the business model and decided to invest in Good Pharm out of what Friedler and Sandler said was their “sense of mission and Zionism.”

The two founders said they intend to go head-to-head with the country’s two major drugstore retailers, Super-Pharm and New-Pharm, and plan to open stores in the Tel Aviv suburbs of Petah Tikva, Rishon Letzion, Holon and Rehovot by the end of the year.

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