Navarro pharmacy private brand spurs growth
By Ivan Rodriguez
Navarro Discount Pharmacy has revamped its website in both English and Spanish, following a 3% increase in revenue after selling its products online and launching the private-labeled brand Vida Mia.
The company currently sells about 4,500 items online through its e-commerce initiative and plans to highlight it as the premier site to look for Hispanic goods in the US.
“We want to increase our marketing using the various means that we have through the internet,” said Juan M. Ortiz, who was named CEO last July after serving as chief financial officer since 2008.
Navarro also aims to broaden its reach beyond Miami-Dade County with this initiative by expanding wholesale operations to the Caribbean and Latin America, he said, and plans to focus more extensively on international sales by the second half of 2012.
“The last fiscal year, revenue for the company indicated an increase of 3% over the prior year,” Mr. Ortiz said. Profits last year for Navarro totaled $320 million.
The company has doubled the number of products launched under the first bilingual Hispanic brand in the country, Vida Mia, from 300 to 600 since September. Close to 1,000 products will be sold by the end of August this year, Mr. Ortiz said.
The brand Vida Mia [My Life] features products in categories including household, beauty and counter items, and is being distributed by Magellan Distribution Solutions. The company currently sells the product line at the retail level but plans to promote the line to other local and international wholesalers.
“We have a several Caribbean and Central American customers that purchase from our wholesale division, and they have expressed interest in the Vida Mia line,” Mr. Ortiz said. “There’s adaptability to the product.”
GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance announced Jan. 9 that it became the administrative agent and sole lender on a $65 million asset-based credit facility for Navarro. It said the financing will be used to refinance debt and for general corporate purposes.
“Providing growth capital to retailers is one of our specialties,” said Jim Hogan, senior managing director, GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance. “Working with clients to understand their needs and structuring smarter financing to fuel their plans is what we do.”
Headquartered in Miami, Navarro was founded in Havana, Cuba, in 1940 and opened its first US store in 1961.
The company plans to open two stores in Kendall and the airport area in November and is searching for a location for one more, Mr. Ortiz said.
“We’re part of this community. We have been for over 50 years. We aim to put products and services that cater to our customers, and the fact that they keep coming back shows that,” he said.
The National Association of Chain Drugstores announced last week that Mr. Ortiz is now part of its five-member new board of directors.
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