After more than a quarter of a century behind the counter of Stawell’s Amcal Pharmacy, Brian Hancock is stepping down to open the door for a new chapter.
Mr Hancock has sold his Amcal and Grampians Pharmacies in Stawell and is retiring.
He bought Amcal Pharmacy back in 1993 in partnership with Nigel Paulet and took full ownership of the company in 1998.
Much has changed in those 26 years for Mr Hancock.
He expanded his business ownership in 2002, taking over as Grampians Pharmacy owner in July 2002.
He said the pharmaceutical industry has has seen many changes in that time.
“Everything is a lot more streamlined nowadays with the computerisation of most things,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say things have gotten easier, just more streamlined. In some regards things have gotten more complicated and there is a lot more extra work than there was 20 years ago.
The customers are what make every day differentBrian Hancock
“There is so much workload behind the scenes that customers would not be aware of.”
Mr Hancock said changes in the retail industry have also been tough to adjust to.
“It is getting more challenging every year with online shopping,” he said.
“It has been a challenge maintaining the store open seven days a week, but often I have had to do a lot of work myself to make sure that happens.”
The Pharmacy Alliance Group will take over management of Stawell’s Amcal and Grampians Pharmacies for new owners.
The handover is expected to take place on Monday, February 18 with Mr Hancock staying around for a few days after that to assist with the handover.
“All the current staff are remaining with the pharmacies and the day-to-day running of the businesses will be much the same, I just won’t be there anymore” he said.
The new owners said they are thrilled the current staff are remaining and have expressed their commitments in ensuring the community continues to receive the same level of health care and advice at both pharmacies.
Much has changed on a personal level with the 60-year-old in 26 years of business ownership.
He and his wife Mandi arrived in Stawell with a nine-month-old baby in 1993 and now have four children with their youngest off to university this year.
“I guess we are empty nesters now,” Mr Hancock said.
“It was my goal for the last few years to get out of business ownership when I turned 60.
“If I get bored a bit down the track I can work occasionally if I want to.
“We still live in Great Western, we love the region and intend to stay around here.”
Mr Hancock said he will most miss the connection to the community in his retirement.
"The customers are what make every day different,” he said.
“Helping out customers and sorting out their health problems has been the most satisfying part of the past 26 years.
“The staff have also always been a great bunch of people to work with which made my job enjoyable too.”
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