JAMESTOWN – In just 24 months in business, Hall Family Pharmacy has expanded – opening its second store — but CEO Philip Hall isn’t done just yet.
As he’s eying a third location on the Plateau – Hall has exploratory campaigns ongoing in three communities outside Fentress County’s borders – he’s also ready to launch ventures outside the pharmacy suite all together.
Two recent building purchases – one in downtown Jamestown and the other in Clarkrange – will take the business beyond its original roots. It’s an opportunity to capitalize on future growth in two cities – in Clarkrange, with the expansion of Highway 127, and Jamestown, with ongoing downtown revitalization efforts; Hall’s plans there could tie the town back to its appareled roots.
The downtown buy, the former Cravens building on the corner of Livingston and Main streets, will likely be repurposed as a sporting goods store. Hall said they’ll centralize their sports medicine offerings from the pharmacy there. He envisions sporting goods, team uniform sales and a screen printing division coupled with online ordering.
“The garment industry used to be real popular in our county; we’re hoping to tap into that history,” he said. “Having young children and having them in different sports leagues, we see the demand in our region, and we realize how much of that money we funnel outside of the UC and our state.”
The project is on a 24-month timeline. Renovations on the property will start this summer; Hall plans to bootstrap the work with pharmacy revenues.
“We’re taking it slow,” he said. “We hope people will come and do business with us because we hope they see us going out and doing good things in our community, something that will provide more jobs, more opportunities, more options as far as shopping.”
In Clarkrange, Hall also bought an old Dollar Store, just across from his recently opened second location. Exterior renovations are complete; the space will be divided and subleased as additional clinical and/or office space. Hall is trying to get ahead of any growth in that southernmost part of Fentress County, especially as a road widening project – the expansion of Highway 127 to a four-lane road from Crossville to Jamestown – takes shape.
“I think there’s a pretty good chance that once that road expansion continues, if things keep going in that direction, the population is going to continue to rise,” Hall said.
That’s largely the reason he decided to target Clarkrange for the pharmacy’s second location. It opened in March and celebrated a grand opening in May. Hall said he made “a substantial investment” in computer systems and technology, which help link the two locations real time. They recently added a mobile app and customers can submit refill requests online. All that’s missing is the signature soda fountain, like at the shop in Jamestown. But that’s coming, he said.
“We can do all the stuff the chain pharmacies can do, while at the same time staying old fashioned, staying hometown, staying down to earth,” Hall said. “You can’t call those places and talk to somebody, you can’t call them in the middle of the night and get help. We’re preserving that, but we’re also able to offer the same stuff as, and to a degree better than, the big guys.”
Currently, Hall has exploratory campaigns out in three area communities, as he studies a possible third location for his pharmacy business. He said he’s eying Cookeville, Wartburg and Crossville as potential sites. There’s no timeline on a decision.
“We are hopeful at some point we’ll be able to expand (again),” he said. “The way things are structured these days, you’d better be in it to grow, because the big guys are eating the little guys up. But our plans and the things we’re doing should not be a sign we’re not content with what are,” he added. “I think that fluidity is very important for small businesses, and that’s why we keep an open mind. We’re just weighing our options and doing our homework, and if the Lord sees fit for us to expand, we will.”