PHARMACY business Norchem has started a new company as part of a diversification drive to stay one step ahead in the wake of Government efforts to cut health service costs.
The County Durham firm, which has a turnover of around £30m and employs 250 people, has launched Thrive, an online vitamins business which will see the company perform on a national stage for the first time.
The new spin-off business will package a 28-day vitamin regime, personalised to each online customer.
It will allow the company, which has traded solely within the North East for more than 50 years, to branch out into the wider UK market.
Norchem chief executive Peter Batty said: “This new business is quite unique and will take us out of the North East, helping us generate sales in other areas to a wider marketplace.
“It means that we can grow the business without being reliant on the North East and Government funding. We’re proud of being a North East company but we need to look at other opportunities.”
Last year, the company launched Norchem Services, to provide out-sourced services such as human resources and payroll for independent pharmacies across the North East. The business also has a pharmaceutical wholesale wing and runs 21 of its own pharmacy shops across the region.