Changing times for Beaufort Street 24-hour Chemist

Business partners Dean Schulze, Alexis McLeod and Bruce Affleck. Photo: Andrew Ritchie
Business partners Dean Schulze, Alexis McLeod and Bruce Affleck. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

IT has been almost 20 years since the Beaufort Street 24-hour Chemist locked its doors.

Customers have streamed in from opposite ends of the city, travelling from as far as Joondalup and Mandurah in the early hours of the morning for prescriptions, medicine for their sick children and advice.

“We seriously had to get a locksmith in to get keys, because we didn’t know where the keys were,” co-owner and pharmacist Dean Schulze said.

NBN warning as scam complaints spike

But the after-hours shift of the Mt Lawley business has always come at a cost, and from Tuesday April 2, they will shorten their hours from 7am to 2am.

“We’ve never made money out of the early hours of the morning but we’ve been willing to subsidise that, it provides a service and gives us an identity,” Mr Schulze said.

“The world’s changing, it’s that Netflix and Uber Eats thing.

“I used to do the nights here, and you’d walk out and the street was full of people.

“Now it’s full of blokes with backpacks on scooters delivering food. Our core trade, scripts and everything is really strong, but we don’t get those impulse sales.”

The changed hours of Beaufort Chemist will leave one 24-hour chemist, in Atwell.

Two Harley-Davidson bikes involved in fatal crash

“There’s been about four that have tried it, they’ve lasted about a year-and-a-half. It’s a really tough gig,” Mr Schulze said.

Beaufort Chemist co-owner and pharmacist Bruce Affleck said the chemist had surveyed its customers a couple of years ago to find out what they would do if the 24-hour business was not there.

Mr Affleck said a quarter of their customers said they would have gone to the emergency room.

“That was the reason behind us staying open,” he said.

“Victoria has a great model where the government has created ‘supercare pharmacies’ [operating 24-hour services across the state] – unfortunately it doesn’t happen here.”

The Victorian model also includes after hours nursing treatment, and Beaufort Chemist has funded a similar service at their own cost for the past two years.

The clinic will continue to run from 6pm to midnight all week.

Mr Schulze said with the changed hours, the co-owners wanted to make sure the chemist stayed on Beaufort Street for at least another 20 years, if not 100.

“We’ll still be open for more hours every day than most other pharmacies in WA,” he said.