Clark’s Market in Aspen planning addition of pharmacy
September 29, 2010
ASPEN – Clark’s Market is pursuing plans to open a pharmacy in its Aspen supermarket by year’s end, company President Tom Clark Jr. confirmed Tuesday.
Equipment has been ordered, plans drawn and pharmacists lined up, but a state license can’t be secured until other pieces of the plan are in place, he said.
“You can’t just start a pharmacy,” Clark said. “I have to build the entire pharmacy before the state will talk to me.”
So, he is aiming at a mid-December opening for what will be Aspen’s second pharmacy. At present, Carl’s Pharmacy is the only one operating in town, though Aspen Valley Hospital has one for in-patient use.
Clark’s, which operates six grocery stores on the Western Slope of Colorado and two in Utah, had avoided the pharmacy business because of the complexities of the operation. But it opened a grocery store in Battlement Mesa that includes the company’s first pharmacy, Clark said. The Clark’s Market in Basalt also contains a pharmacy, but the space is leased to an outside operator.
With a year of experience in Battlement Mesa, the grocery chain is ready to expand with a pharmacy in Aspen, according to Clark.
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“We’ve learned to work with every insurance company and we’re going to be bringing that to Aspen, as well,” he said.
Construction is expected to begin in mid-October; the pharmacy will be built in what is currently the Take 2 Video space in the North Mill Station commercial complex that also contains Clark’s Market. The video store plans to relocate within the complex.
Inside Clark’s, the sushi area and juice bar will be relocated to the deli in the back of the store, and the pharmacy will be accessed from within the grocery store in the front corner now containing the juice bar and sushi counter.
The store plans to meld its focus on natural foods and natural/homeopathic remedies with the pharmacy operation, Clark added, complementing the traditional medicine offered in the pharmacy.
“We’ll not only be able to supply people with their pharmaceutical needs, but really take a broad approach to health,” he said.