DIS-CHEM Pharmacies will add seven new stores to its footprint during July and August, adhering to its planned expansion timetable.
July saw the group opening doors to its new stores at the Valley Hyper (Nelspruit), The Neighbourhood (Linksfield), Benoni’s Lakeside Mall and the Musina Mall (Musina). Further openings in Mooirivier Junction (Potchefstroom), Makhado Crossing (Louis Trichardt) and Parow (Cape Town) are scheduled for August. Adding to this is the scheduled opening of an additional store in the Gallo Centre in Francistown, but this is dependent on the reopening of borders. Once the Francistown store opens, it will take the total number of Dis-Chem stores in Botswana to 2, with a concomitant footprint increase in South Africa to 180 sites.
The July and August openings will increase Dis-Chem’s total retail space to just over 241 000m².
Ivan Saltzman, Dis-Chem’s CEO says the group plans to open a further ten stores before the end of the year, although certain locations may be hampered by construction delays or catch-ups. “We are currently on track to meet our expansion plans and we are fortunate that the delays brought about by lockdown have not had a material impact on the roll-out of new sites.”
He says unanticipated delays may result in a small number of site openings being pushed into early 2021, but these will run alongside expansion targets. Dis-Chem says 21 new stores have already been identified and secured for FY2021 and growth in the brand has made it an anchor store in malls.
“We plan to maintain our target of reaching 200 stores by 2021/2022 if there are no unforeseen circumstances. In a market where consumer spending in under severe pressure, expansion brings greater access to everyday low pricing in dispensary, healthcare, nutrition and beauty items to a larger number of consumers. A further plus, thanks to the inclusion of Dis-Chem clinics within our stores, is greater access to much-needed primary healthcare services which has a dual benefit for patients and the public healthcare system,” Saltzman concludes.