A father-son team uses technology to grow a 144-year-old business

Founded in 1875, Merz
is considered a Chicago landmark. For five
generations, the pharmacy has been home to a collection of unique,
hard-to-find goods from all over the world. Abdul Qaiyum bought the
business in 1972, managing to grow the business during a time when
most independent pharmacies were giving way to large chain drug
stores. Abdul’s three sons worked there growing up and today,
Merz Apothecary is run by Abdul and his son, Anthony. “We’re
not your traditional pharmacy,” says Anthony. “We carry
everything from natural remedies to grooming products to home

One of the secrets to their continued success? Quickly embracing
the power of technology. They turned to the internet while it was
still in its early days, taking their first online order in 1997
and starting an e-commerce site, smallflower.com, in 1998. In
2001 they started using Google Ads to reach customers searching for
their specialty products and their business began to double. They
now have 60 employees and the web continues to play a critical role
in their business. A YouTube channel has expanded their
reach—videos sharing fun and informative product reviews have
garnered over 1.5 million views. “I view the web as a way that we
can deliver what we do, to everybody,” says Anthony. “Everyone
is going online searching for information all the time. Google is
the place where most of that gets done, so I want to be there and I
want to be seen.”

Merz Apothecary

Abdul & Anthony in 1973 and in 2018

Check out their video to learn more about how this father-son
duo continues to grow a business and preserve an American

Source: FS – Social Media Blogs 2
A father-son team uses technology to grow a 144-year-old business