STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 38

n

Q&A

Sonja had been with Sam's Club pharmacy for
years and knew how to build a pharmacy. I had
experience in building a brand. We spent one year
planning, and our store opened in May 2016.
Aren't doctors much more accustomed to
filling prescriptions with drug stores?

"The pharmacy
is at the
intersection of
two enormous
changes in
consumer
behavior. Local
retail is becoming
customized -
and it will live on
your phone."
- Eric Kinariwala,
Capsule Pharmacy

If I'm a strip-mall owner who depends on drug
store tenants, should I be worried?

Many local retail businesses are being
commoditized. But things like restaurants, bars
and cinemas will always exist because they offer
experiences. Retailers that do not offer experiences
will be very challenged going forward.

Of course. There are 70,000 pharmacies in
America. Pharmacies are one of the largest
categories of local commerce. But when your
doctor asks where to send the order, all you have
to say is, "Capsule." The doctor will type in
the prescription, and we will receive it. You can
schedule delivery within one hour. We've taken
away the process of going to the pharmacy and all
the things that can go wrong along the way. We're
using technology to eliminate all the friction.

No. I don't worry about Amazon because what
we are building is fundamentally different. Our
business isn't about delivery. It's about creating
value and reducing friction. Delivery is just the table
stakes. Every modern company has delivery.

Where did the name Capsule come from?
It kind of sounds like a plastic-coated pill.

What's the most astounding thing you've
learned about the health care business?

I made the name up. Most names have a great
story, but there's no great story behind our name.
It just feels modern. There's the double meaning
of medicine in a plastic container and things
like time capsules and space capsules. The name
points to the future.

The No. 1 wow for me is how big health care
companies can make the average consumer feel so
small, so alone, so afraid and so vulnerable.

When will Capsule be a household name?

I hope it's already becoming one, at least in
New York City. New York City is a 430,000-perday prescription market.
When will you expand outside of
New York City?

I want to make sure that every New Yorker
has the opportunity to use Capsule before we
expand. So, for now, we're only focused on
New York City.

Meanwhile, you've got something to worry
about, too. Are you concerned that Amazon
will go into the pharmacy business and put you
out of business?

How have you gotten doctors on board?

Doctors have actually approached us. They come
by word of mouth. We make doctors' lives easier
because we take care of them. We've removed a lot of
pain for doctors dealing with the pharmacy system.
Tell me about a customer whom you
unexpectedly won over.

Sonja [Patel] called me over one day and told me
about a woman who used our chat app late at night.
The woman wanted to know if she could take her
iron supplement while she was pregnant. Then, she
says, "By the way, this is weird that I'm telling you
first because my husband doesn't even know that
I'm pregnant yet."

When will you be a national chain?

Over the next 10 years, we'll be all across
America, if not international.
What were your sales over the past year?

We've been contacted by a wide variety of people
for a whole bunch of things. I'm pretty committed
to building this company for the next 30 years.

We've never disclosed our sales or our customer
count. Let's just say we work with tens of
thousands of patients in New York City, and the
business has grown sevenfold in one year.

Since you can't share sales data, what data
can you share with me that show Capsule
is successful?

When will you be a $1 billion brand?

New York City alone is a $10 billion pharmacy
market. We'd have to take 10 percent of the
market to be a billion-dollar brand. Duane
Reade did it in about 60 years. We'll do that in a
fraction of the time.
38

STORES January 2018

Has Amazon tried to purchase you?

I can tell you that our customers interact with
Capsule six times more than the corner drug
store.
Bruce Horovitz, a freelance writer, is a former USA Today
marketing reporter and Los Angeles Times marketing
columnist. He can be reached at brucehorovitz@gmail.com.
STORES.ORG


http://www.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - January 2018

Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
TRENDS
Retail People
Disruption Is the New Normal in Retail
20 Ideas Worth Stealing
Drug Store Cowboy
C2W
TECHNOLOGY
WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
OMNICHANNEL
AI
MARKETING
FINANCE
BUSINESS OPERATIONS
STARTUP SPOTLIGHT
SECURITY
HUMAN RESOURCES
POV
Communities
End Cap
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - intro
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover1
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover2
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 3
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 4
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 5
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Editor’s Page
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 7
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - President’s Page
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 9
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 10
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 11
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Retail Politics
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - NRF News
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - TRENDS
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 15
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 16
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 17
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 18
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 19
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Retail People
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 21
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Disruption Is the New Normal in Retail
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 23
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 24
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 25
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 20 Ideas Worth Stealing
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 27
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 28
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 29
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 30
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 31
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 32
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 33
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 34
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 35
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Drug Store Cowboy
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 37
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 38
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 39
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - C2W
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - TECHNOLOGY
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 42
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 43
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 45
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - OMNICHANNEL
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 47
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - AI
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 49
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - MARKETING
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 51
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - FINANCE
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 53
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - BUSINESS OPERATIONS
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 55
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - STARTUP SPOTLIGHT
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 57
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - SECURITY
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 59
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 60
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - HUMAN RESOURCES
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 62
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 63
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - POV
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Communities
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - End Cap
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover3
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover4
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