Two Pharmacists, One Goal

Thinking of selling your pharmacy? Learn how these two pharmacists pulled off a seamless transition and hand-off of a successful independent pharmacy.

Ahmed Atallah and Tony Skelley have known each other for over 20 years, but wasn’t until eight years ago that Ahmed approached Tony about his interest in buying Skinners Pharmacy from Tony. At that time, Tony wasn’t ready to move on to his next chapter, so Ahmed requested, “When the time comes, let me know.” Ahmed knew that Tony’s kids had planned to go into different industries, so he wanted Tony to know that he would be there to keep Skinner’s independent, rather than Tony having to sell to a chain. Years went by, but Tony and Ahmed maintained their open lines of communication.

The expertise and assistance of a Pharmacy Ownership Consultant made for a smooth process

It wasn’t until ThoughtSpot 2016 that the idea came up again for Ahmed to begin the process of purchasing Skinners. From there, Ahmed and Tony began working with Charlie Le Bon, a Pharmacy Ownership Consultant at AmerisourceBergen, and his contacts at U.S. Bank, making the financial process very easy and smooth.

“Purchasing Skinners Pharmacy has been the best experience I’ve ever had with buying a store!” —Ahmed

“Charlie orchestrated every little detail, which makes it easier for the buyer and the seller—I can’t imagine doing this without him,” Tony said. Ahmed and Tony both found AmerisourceBergen easy to work with. For Ahmed, purchasing Skinners Pharmacy “has been the best experience I’ve ever had with buying a store!”

Ahmed and Tony worked together to transition customers to the new ownership

Skinners Pharmacy has been around since 1960, which Tony purchased in 1982, and both Ahmed and Tony wanted to preserve Skinner’s history for their customers, so the name has stayed the same. Tony and all his staff continue to work for Skinners as well. During the ownership transition, Tony had lots of time to alert his customers about the new ownership, making it even more of a delightful transition.

Part of the agreement was to keep Tony on part-time, which has especially comforted Skinner’s customer base. “It makes me feel good to know how close Tony is to his customers, and because of that, the reaction from our customer base has been very positive,” Ahmed said.

“The reaction from our customer base has been very positive.” —Ahmed

When Tony and Ahmed first joined Western States Pharmacy Coalition, they both would talk about how it was one of the best things that had ever happened to their businesses. Ahmed said, when the time came for him to purchase Skinners, “There was no question that I was going to keep it a WSPC store. The role of WSPC in buying this new store came when I first joined the group. It’s made a huge difference to my bottom line, and the idea of knowing that I’m in a strong group that negotiates pricing on my behalf has made me feel comfortable to keep expanding.”

Now that Ahmed and Samia own three stores, Fox Drug of Torrance, Kovacs-Frey Pharmacy, and Skinners Pharmacy, they have put all of the stores on the same pharmacy system. This has allowed the stores to all be connected and has made it easier for the employees when they alternate stores.

Western States Pharmacy Coalition congratulates Ahmed, Samia, Tony, and Carol on their new ventures and wishes them continued success! We also want to thank them for being a premier example of utilizing the WSPC network!