HOUSTON -- Fiesta Mart here signed an agreement with Medicine Shoppe International, St. Louis, to open five pharmacies in its supermarkets, all in Houston.
Fiesta Mart, with 33 stores, including 29 in Houston, may open Medicine Shoppe pharmacies in more of its food stores, said Bernie Murphy, a company spokesman.
"This is somewhat of a test," Murphy said. "If these are successful, we'll look to put in more. We're very open to considering that."
The pharmacies opened June 27. All five involve leased-space arrangements with Medicine Shoppe, the nation's largest franchiser of retail pharmacies. The pharmacies are independently owned by two franchisees, one of whom owns four locations.
Medicine Shoppe pharmacies sell mainly prescription drugs, plus a 220-item line of Medicine Shoppe-brand over-the-counter medications.
Two of the pharmacies are freestanding kiosks, a new format for Medicine Shoppe, said Debbie McBride, store openings manager for Medicine Shoppe. The kiosks are each 27 feet across and 12 feet deep.
"With a kiosk location, we have prime visibility," McBride said. "We're taking advantage of all the traffic that is already coming into the grocery store."
The other three pharmacies are located at the perimeter of the supermarkets, and are slightly larger, ranging from 20 to 24 feet across and 16 to 21 feet deep.
This brings the number of pharmacies inside Fiesta Mart stores to seven. The other two are also leased-space arrangements, but with individual pharmacists not connected to Medicine Shoppe.
Fiesta had discussed a similar arrangement with several chain drug stores but the sticking point was control of the health and beauty care sales, Murphy said.
To make room for the pharmacies, other departments were relocated, including a wine shop, a vision center, customer service counter, infant clothing department and a display of coolers.