Inside This Issue - News
Panzer to oversee Rx at Sears
February 24th, 2014
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Sears Holdings Corp. has named Mark Panzer president of pharmacy with responsibility for Kmart’s in-store and online prescription business. Panzer, 57, had been president and chief executive officer of 24-unit Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy.
Panzer took the helm at Pharmaca in 2009, a year after joining the Boulder, Colo.-based company as chief operating officer. From 2005 to 2008 he was senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Rite Aid Corp. From 2001 to 2005 he was Rite Aid’s senior executive vice president of store operations with responsibility for pharmacy and front-end operating results. He earlier spent 17 years with Albertson’s, American Stores Co. and Jewel Cos., serving in senior-level positions in operations, marketing, merchandising and real estate.
"Mark’s breadth and depth of retail store operations, pharmacy and marketing experience make him an ideal fit to lead the pharmacy business," said Sears chairman and CEO Edward Lampert. "Mark is an executive with proven success in blending wellness with innovative strategies to enhance members’ healthy lifestyles supported by leading technology, similar to our Shop Your Way platform."
At Pharmaca, Panzer was credited with optimizing an unorthodox approach to chain drug retailing that combines a full-service pharmacy with holistic therapies and certified nontraditional practitioners.
The chain last year saw significant growth in all areas of its business. Retail sales grew by over 11%, while the company’s e-commerce revenues rose substantially. The chain had announced plans for two new stores in the first half of 2014 in California and Colorado, with three more to follow in the second half.
Part of Pharmaca’s business model has been to broaden services, especially in the health and beauty area. It now has six stores on the West Coast outfitted with Natural Beauty Bars that offer salon services such as waxing and makeup applications by licensed estheticians.
In June the retailer added a national event focusing on fitness and nutrition as well as a Personal Weight Challenge service connecting customers concerned with their weight to practitioners who can help counsel them on nutrition and lifestyle strategies. "These programs represent a growing area of our business and an important part of the preventive health model," Panzer said.
Panzer signed on for his first job in the industry at the Osco drug chain in Chicago, shortly after his 15th birthday. He’s been a retailer ever since, having divided his time almost equally between merchandising and operations while working for Jewel, American Stores, Albertson’s and Rite Aid.
Former American Stores vice chairman and chief operating officer Dave Maher is leading Pharmaca until a successor is found. Maher was named to the chain’s board in 2008.