UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Advantage Group CEO Hugo Ortiz, Kleidon MasterBuilt Homes Adam Vollmer and Melissa Steele with pharmacy owner Brent Byrne.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Advantage Group CEO Hugo Ortiz, Kleidon MasterBuilt Homes Adam Vollmer and Melissa Steele with pharmacy owner Brent Byrne. Mike Knott BUN221018PHA1

Owner reveals the reason behind pharmacy colours

SOCIAL media lit up as fast as the historical Church Pharmacy burnt down after photos of the new chemist were published online.

The colour scheme has set tongues wagging.

The original building, built as a church in 1926, was white brick with blue trim.

It went up in flames in the early hours of April 6, 2016, and was later declared too expensive to repair.

A year later plans to rebuild were submitted to Bundaberg Regional Council and approved with guidelines.

 

The Church Pharmacy had to be demolished.
The Church Pharmacy had to be demolished. Mike Knott BUN300117CHURCH4

The council ordered that street frontages on the building must include historical images of the "Old Church Pharmacy", stating that could be done through glazing, imprinting or transfers over the window glass.

Owner Brent Byrne yesterday said he wasn't fazed by negative comments about the new red and yellow building, sans historical images, saying they were a "50-50 spilt" and "what is news today will fade in time".

Mr Byrne said he was "currently in negotiations with council about the images" at the front of the building and at this stage they would not be going ahead.

He said he was more excited the new pharmacy, Chemist Discount Centre, will be a first of its kind in Queensland when it opens in less than four weeks' time.

When it opens its doors next month, Chemist Discount Centre, which is part of the Advantage Group, will feature the red and yellow exterior, part of the company's branding.

Advantage Group CEO Hugo Ortiz said retail was about standing out and he believed they had succeeded in this case.

 

Plans for the building originally featured large images of the original Church Pharmacy building.
Plans for the building originally featured large images of the original Church Pharmacy building. Crystal Jones

"Obviously there is a bit of noise around that (the colours) and it's in line with our corporate colours," Mr Ortiz said.

"It's still not finished and you'll find it changes as the extra parts, the awning etc come on, it will change and the colour scheme will dull down.

"But, we do want to be noticed and naturally that has worked ... and they are there to stay."

In regards to keeping the history of the building alive, Mr Byrne said he had put out several public call-outs, and was interviewed for a story in the NewsMail, asking residents to contribute historical pieces and photographs of the old pharmacy.

To his surprise and disappointment, he said, he received nothing.

Mr Bryne bought the Church Pharmacy in 2007 and said he thought it was more important to secure the future of the business by providing more employment rather than dwelling on the past.

"I've done the best I can to make sure I can employ more people," Mr Bryne said.

"And by going with this franchise I can."

Mr Ortiz said the "colour scheme of red and yellow ... had a synonymous relation to discounting" and that was important to the business.

"Pharmacy, we found in the past, people related to as an expensive experience," he said.

"The value is there and we developed this brand five years ago."

The new store is double the size of the original and will have two consulting rooms and a CPAP service, Mr Ortiz said.

The NewsMail asked the council if it believed the building's exterior was suitable, given the approval stated the building design should use colours "sympathetic to the surrounding environment and avoid excess brightness, contrast, colour intensity and reflectivity".

A council spokesperson said "the project is as yet unfinished and the opportunity should be extended to the applicant to finalise the work prior to any comment".

The building is being built by Kleidon Master Built Homes.

The new chemist is set to have a soft opening on November 19 and an official opening on November 27.



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