Health Care Logistics Buys Pharmart Cataloger

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After years of running a direct marketing operation from his log cabin in northeastern Connecticut, Ken Hankinson, 55, is retiring.

The owner/general manager of Pharmart, Tolland, CT -- which for 14 years provided gifts and collectibles for pharmacy professionals -- sold his business this week to Health Care Logistics Inc., Circleville, OH.

"We're a small company, and [Health Care Logistics] had the potential to move it further," Hankinson said. "It was a home-based business and limited in how we could ship and the number of customers we could handle in terms of customer service. We had three workstations for customer service and orders."

Hankinson did not disclose the sale price. Libey-Concordia, a Philadelphia-based advisory and investment banking firm that serves the catalog industry, represented Pharmart.

"It's kind of a lifestyle decision," Hankinson said. "We didn't want to move into a commercial building. Health Care Logistics … [has] a large warehouse and office complex. I'm sure they will mail more catalogs and go after some of the peripheral markets that were difficult for us to get to, like colleges of pharmacy and pharmaceutical manufacturers and maybe some pharmacy associations."

The company began operations in 1990 when it started producing a catalog. A Web site was up and running a few years later.

"A lot of our customers are non-pharmacists who are purchasing gifts for pharmacists, including family members or employees purchasing gifts for the boss, but the mailing list for the catalog has always been primarily a BTB, pharmacist recipient," he said.

Hankinson printed a catalog once each year with three cover changes. He would not disclose its circulation. The SKU total in each book has been between 200 and 225 while the page count was 32.

"I believe they will continue using Pharmart, either as a division or a subsidiary," he said.

The deal had been in the works for four months.

As for the log cabin, Hankinson is staying on -- not as an owner/general manager, but as a resident.

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