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The Wall Street Journal reports on a small company, Elephant Pharmacy, which is "positioning itself to challenge established chains such as Walgreen Co. and Rite Aid Corp. by pairing traditional aspects of pharmacies with alternative remedies, such as providing in house acupuncturists and nutritionists, and substituting potato chips on aisle five with organic fruits and vegetables. Elephant is hoping its offerings and trained personnel will get baby boomers and mothers in their 30s to flock to its stores, hang out and, ideally, take a class.

"The company, which is based in Berkeley, Calif., and operates two stores in the Bay Area, was founded in 2001. It is being guided through its adolescence by a combination of investors, executives with experience building stores that were bought by Whole Foods Market Inc. Curiously enough, it's also getting help from drug-store chain CVS Corp., which was one of several venture-capital investors in Elephant's second round of financing in 2004. CVS has a seat on Elephant Pharmacy's five-person board, which offers the chain a peek at innovations and industry trends outside the main stream.

"What remains to be seen is whether the Californian combination of yoga mats, red wine and acupuncture can translate beyond the Golden State and stand up to the size of well-established rivals, which could either buy up the company or open similar, alternative chains of their own."
KC's View:
This reminded us of some research we'd read from our friends at the Hartman Group that indicated that many people – baby boomers and younger – don’t see traditional medicine and alternative medicine as being mutually exclusive.

It's sort of the "whatever gets you through the night" approach…which, by the way, we heartily endorse.