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QTMAGAZINE SPRING 2017
New Zealand Natural Skincare
MADE IN NEW ZEALAND
A FRESH NEW RANGE OF MOISTURE-BOOST NATURAL LIPSTICKS
FEATURING AVOCADO, EVENING PRIMROSE & CALENDULA OILS
Lipsticks so healthy you could almost eat them
Flying the Life
Wilkinsons is the only pharmacy
in Central Otago operating under
the Life Pharmacy brand.
“We offer a vast array of cosmetic brands
suitable to everyone, from top end brands
Lancome, Clarins and Smashbox, to our
latest offering that everybody's talking about,
The Balm, and of course our long-standing
brands Revlon and Loreal,” says co-owner
Prestige fragrances include Armani, Chanel,
Christian Dior and Viktor and Rolf among
other well-known brands.
“As well as catering to health needs and
medical requirements we stock a great
range of cameras, Go Pros, memory cards
and photographic products. There is also a
vast array of sunglass brands - Maui Jim,
Serengeti, Bolle, Adidas and Quay,” she says.
For uniquely New Zealand natural products
the store showcases Antipodes, Evolu,
Trilogy, Wildferns and Comvita products with
manuka honey, tea tree oil and propolis.
“We have a growing selection of natural
supplements such as Go Healthy,
Thompsons, Blackmores, Nutra-Life, Swisse,
Clinicians and Bioceuticals.”
Bon Bon, Ecoya, Ashley and Co, Linden
Leaves and The Aromatherapy Company
along with the popular Blunt umbrellas are
part of a diverse contemporary gift range
“The range and variety of top names in
every area of the store is immense and we
are delighted to able to stock such leading
brands in Queenstown,” says Bronwen.
“Being part of the Life Pharmacy group
certainly helps Wilkinsons deliver the best
Hotop initially worked for Hallenstein and Company
after his arrival from Germany to take up residence
in Queenstown. But, in 1867 he purchased the
company’s “druggist and chemist” operation and
opened Hotop’s Dispensary. At the same time his
brother Henry ran a pharmacy business in Cromwell.
Hotop wore many hats, among them mayor of
Queenstown, serving three separate terms between
1891 and 1906. He continued to run the pharmacy
until 1920 when he sold the business to Gordon
Wilkinson who spearheaded a venture operated by
successive family members for 96 years.
Gordon died in 1950 and his son Stan took over
the business running it for the next 34 years. He
employed a series of managers, while he ran a
separate pharmacy in Geraldine, until 1984 when
his son Kim and wife Marie took it over.
Kim and Marie became the retail face of downtown
Queenstown during the following 32 years before
they decided to sell in 2016 to new owners Glenn
and Tiffany Mitchell and Bronwen and Tim Judkins.
The Wilkinsons Pharmacy premises have had a
high profile during their long history past not least
as the victim of serious flooding episodes. Lewis
Hotop faced it first in the October 1878 floods which
caused extensive damage to businesses close to
During Kim Wilkinson’s watch the 1999 100-year
flood was particularly devastating and he was vocal
in his calls for action to prevent further problems
for downtown retailers.
In 1999 despite sandbagging and other efforts water
reached waist-height inside the pharmacy and there
was no fighting it and they were forced to relocate
to temporary premises in Athol Street where the
dispensary operated for three weeks.
Due to the flooding Kim and Marie took the
opportunity to completely rebuild, expand and
modernise the shop. They had previously expanded
into two other stores in the building and after the
1999 flood purchased another neighbouring shop
which was incorporated into their premises.
“We did a major refurbishment completely
modernising the store,” says Kim. “The shop fit
took nine months to complete and at the same time
we joined the Unichem marketing group. The shop
is still basically the same today although we have
done upgrades every few years with the last shop
fit in 2015/2016 involving the rebranding to Life
In the Beginning
By Jenny McLeod
In 1867 Queenstown’s pioneering entrepreneur,
Lewis Hotop, opened a dispensary in the town on the
corner of Rees and Ballarat Streets, a site which is
still occupied 150 years later by Wilkinsons Pharmacy.
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