- Front Page
- Biz Tools
AUSTRALIA - I am always on the search for ‘good news’ franchising stories and this one, for personal reasons, thrilled me when I first heard the news on radio on Friday. The Terry White Group of franchise chemists was resold back to Terry White for an undisclosed amount.
‘White says he will chair the company, the original role he held when the franchise was first founded, and there has been an interim board of seven pharmacists appointed.’ SmartCompany
This franchise has a long an impressive history and is considered Australia's leading Retail Pharmacy Brand. The first Terry White Chemist opened in 1959 in my hometown of Redcliffe in Queensland and the group established the operation as a franchise company in 1994.
The buy-back motivation is unclear although I would suggest that he would have been disappointed at the business direction taken since his departure. The business didn’t lose any ground or professionalism but something was missing.
‘Our goal is to bring the pharmacy brand back from corporate to independent.
‘Pharmacies and the relationships people have with their local pharmacist are an important part of the Australian community. And this is about bringing the personal touch to the franchise company.
‘This will happen in two stages. Stage one is where our small board buys the business, which has been done. Secondly will be the sell-down, where we invite our members to become shareholders.’Courier Mail
Terry White has an even more impressive history than his namesake brand. A former President of the Pharmacy Guild, Terry was heavily involved in developing services to up-skill pharmacists as small business people and while a National Councillor he was instrumental in the establishment of the Australian Institute of Pharmacy Management.
Terry White was also a Member of Parliament for 10 years, leader of the Liberal Party and Minister of the Crown. His reputation at that time was one of a man whose focus on improving the lot of any constituent over-rode his politics. Terry is applauded as a quietly spoken philanthropist and yet has been quick to voice community concern when he considered it a responsibility. He was awarded the Officer in the Order of Australia for service to the pharmacy profession, to the community and to the Queensland Parliament. He has been Chairman of numerous foundations and was awarded ‘Father of the Year’ in 1983.
I cannot tell you how old Terry is but I can tell you that my first encounter with the fun-loving chemist was back in the early 60s when as a young boy and one of 6 children in family doing it tough on many fronts my family was a regular ‘customer’. I remember both my parents telling me in my early 30s that with Terry he never turned anyone away and ‘on tick’ [credit] meant ‘when you can’.
Given his propensity for generosity when starting out he surprisingly became very successful and wealthy and continues to maintain his principles, sharp wit and sense of humor today; proof positive that ‘no kindness never goes unpunished’ is occasionally wrong.
I am not just confident these franchisees are in good hands, I am truly delighted; ‘There will obviously be some changes to the brand over time, and we’ll need to invest in that, because that was one of the things we were concerned about. The market is getting far more competitive, and we’ve got to marshal the strength of the individual franchise owners to compete.’