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Independent Retail Vs Chain Retail

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Sparda29, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Pharmacist Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    New York, New York
    This is a question for the pharmacists who have experienced both chain and independent retail as a Pharmacist. Don't care about experiences as a pharmacy technician or intern.

    How many of you preferred working for a chain? How many of you preferred working for an independent? Why? (I've never experienced chain pharmacy as a Pharmacist, only as an intern and tech.)

    No, I'm not leaving the independent store. I'm just wondering if there is any benefit to working for a chain other than job stability and higher pay.
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  3. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies 5+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2011
    Where my ex's live
    Higher pay? I work relief once a month for an independent and their staff pharmacist makes more than my department head who has been here for 30 years.
  4. CetiAlphaFive


    Apr 12, 2016
    Hahahaha, bro, you have no idea what you're about to get into.
  5. Momus

    Momus 7+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Money wise. Better overall compensation, performance bonus, possible sign on bonus, easier to get a cola pay raise (corporate guidelines), better health insurance, better retirement benefit: better 401k matching and better selection of funds (probably amount to $4M+ value at retirement assuming 7% compounded return for 18k/yr contribution @ 40 yrs with 3% match), minimum 6 days paid holidays, contribution to social security, vacation pay, sick pay, and less shady practice.

    Stress level: retail > indy.

    Independent wins out if you are the owner. As a staff or PIC at independent, the money isn't there.
    npage148 likes this.
  6. quickpic007


    Sep 22, 2016
    did indy as prn only for a short bit. Chain is all about numbers and policy procedure. Much more stable at chain but I'd like to be an owner one day. I'd go chain any day as the owner can fire you anytime, chain they must follow procedure
  7. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine 5+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    I worked at CVS for 5 years as an intern and 4 years as a pharmacist. I worked at an independent for 2 years as a pharmacist, and now I work at at hospital 5 days a week and independent 3 days a week.

    Regardless if it's chain retail or independent retail, they both suck, and that's coming from a hardcore retail pharmacist who loved retail. Chain jobs are no longer guaranteed, especially now when a lot of chains are cutting store hours and pharmacist hours. If chains can lobby to remove the pharmacist, they will. The most I was making at CVS was $65/hr on the books. The most I make in independent retail is $54/hr off the books. The pay in independent was much better for me. The stress was a lot less. The job, however, is a lot less secure. Any time the owner decides he wants to close the store or sell it, then you are out of a job.

    Retail is retail, whether you are at a chain or an independent. You will work like a slave at a chain. You can relax at the independent. I've worked in independents in Manhattan that do 1000 prescriptions a day, and it was so easy to work and fun. I've worked at CVS stores that do 200 scripts a day and it feels like I am working in a sweat shop.

    What I miss about CVS was the amazing 401k. They matched dollar for dollar up to the first 5% of your eligible pay. What I also miss was the Employee Stock Purchase Program in which I was able to buy CVS stock at a 15% discount! The independent didn't have any of those things, but my employer did give me $100 or $200 cash weekly bonuses and also cash birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. He also did pay for a top notch health care plan for me, way better than anything CVS offered.

    What I miss about the independent is I ran everything the way I wanted to run it. I made the rules. I handled the situations. I ran the show. With CVS, I had to follow their lame as* play book. There was more autonomy with working at an independent. I could change the price of medications for people. If I knew someone had difficulty, I gave medication away for free. I extended credit to people. I sat down and helped people. That doesn't happen in chain retail.

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