Former Kmart CEO, Guy Russo, who has been credited with one of Australia’s most successful business turnarounds, will offer in-depth insights and advice to pharmacists on how he transformed Kmart into one of the most popular and profitable retail businesses in Australia today.

Presenting at the 2020 Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference & Trade Exhibition (APP2020) in March, Mr Russo will be joined by Advantage Group CEO, Steven Kastrinakis, in a Q&A session exploring best practices that can be applied to the community pharmacy sector.

Mr Russo said internal processes, workplace culture, and listening to feedback are essential components of a business’s overall strategy.

“Unlike the businesses I’ve worked in, people actually need a pharmacy’s products and services,” Mr Russo said.

“However, my basics still apply. Love your customers. Build a great culture. Plan your strategy and then execute.

“We put customers at the heart of what we were doing at Kmart. Our customers, suppliers and stakeholders had some of the best solutions for the problems we were encountering.

“I believe these core principles will be very relevant to community pharmacy in 2020 and beyond.”

As a former CEO of Wesfarmer’s Kmart & Target, former CEO of McDonald’s Australia, former President of McDonald’s Greater China, President of global non-profit, OneSky, for orphaned and at risk children, and now Chairman of fast food chain Guzman y Gomez, Mr Russo has a wealth of knowledge to share with pharmacists on key retail strategies that have been tried and tested.

Advantage Group CEO, Steven Kastrinakis said there are many strategies to learn from Guy that are transferable to a pharmacy.

“Like Kmart, key internal drivers such as range, price and customer engagement are key metrics in which our Advantage Pharmacy and Chemist Discount Centre brand strategies are executed,” Mr Kastrinakis said.

“Further to this, when combined with data analytics, IT integration and an inventory management platform, pharmacies have full visibility to enable them to navigate what has become a complex and competitive retail environment.

“The strategies employed by Guy Russo in what was an amazing retail turnaround, we see as transferable and applicable to any sophisticated retail pharmacy strategy.”

This session, ‘Applying retail strategies to the community pharmacy sector’, will be held on Friday, 20 March at APP2020 from 11.45am.

For more information on this session, download the APP2020 program at

APP2020 will be held from 19-22 March 2020 at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre. Take advantage of early bird savings by registering before 31 January 2020 at

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