The Clicks group on Monday announced its plans to buy the retail pharmacy business of Pick n Pay, which includes 25 in-store pharmacies. The in-store pharmacies will be rebranded to Clicks Pharmacies. All staff currently employed by Pick n Pay in the pharmacies will be transferred to Clicks.
Shoprite has recently seen strong growth in its pharmacy group, Medirite, which has branches in several of the group’s stores across South Africa. Pick n Pay however never focused on this part of its business.
“We have recently set out our key strategic objectives in terms of future growth, and these do not include the development of a large pharmacy division,” said Adrian Naude, Pick n Pay’s chief operations officer in a statement. “Our main objectives in terms of transferring our pharmacy business have been to ensure that our customers have a seamless transition and maintain the quality of service they have been used to with Pick n Pay, and that our pharmacy staff are looked after. We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Clicks on both of these objectives.”
Clicks is currently the largest retail pharmacy network in South Africa, and the new deal will significantly increase its national presence to 632 pharmacies.
“Currently 50% of the country’s population live within 6 kilometres of a Clicks pharmacy and we aim to improve this over time as we get closer to customers,” said Vikesh Ramsunder, Clicks Ceo in a statement. The acquisition of the Pick n Pay pharmacy chain will accelerate this strategy. The proposed transaction is however subject to approval by the competition and regulatory authorities of South Africa.