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INTERNET Phar-Mor forms partnership for online store



Published: Thu, June 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



By DON SHILLING

VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR

YOUNGSTOWN -- Phar-Mor's online store is running again, but at a new address.

The store is now at www.PharMorWebRx.com.

Phar-Mor, a Youngstown-based discount drugstore chain, is teaming up with HealthCentral, a California-based company that provides health-care supplies over the Internet.

Phar-Mor didn't have an online store from last November through April, when the new site was created. It wasn't announced until Wednesday to give the companies time to test the site.

Last July, Phar-Mor joined with More.com to create an online store at Pharmore.com. That site ended, however, when More.com, another California-based Internet retailer, was bought by HealthCentral.

Bill Pearce, co-manager of e-commerce for Phar-Mor, said HealthCentral will provide the items listed on the new site and handle distribution.

Reason: Using HealthCentral's network is less expensive than creating individual Internet retailing operations for Phar-Mor, Pearce said. HealthCentral handles similar operations for other companies.

Items available include health and beauty aids, personal care items and over-the-counter products such as vitamins, minerals and supplements.

Pearce said Phar-Mor thinks it's important to offer online retailing because some people aren't able to get to stores.

The online store is designed to supplement regular stores but isn't expected to provide a large amount of profit for the company, he said.

Phar-Mor will continue to offer prescription refills through its corporate site at PharMor.com.

That site has been revised to be more of an informational site, Pearce said. Features include:

U & raquo;PillBot.com, a service that allows shoppers to compare prices of prescription drugs.

U & raquo;Questions and answers about prescription drugs, health and vitamins.

U & raquo;A contact-lens replacement store.

Phar-Mor operates 139 stores in 24 states.

shilling@vindy.com




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