Despite the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Clicks has announced that it plans to open 38 new stores and 40 new pharmacies in the next financial year.
During an interview with CNBC Africa, Clicks CEO Vikesh Ramsunder said there has been a strong increase in sales during lockdown. In March alone, the company’s sales growth was triple that of a typical month.
The demand was attributed to the hygiene and healthcare sections as more consumers stocked up ahead of lockdown. This spike was followed by a slower period as South Africans adhered to the lockdown regulations.
“At this stage, opening 38 Clicks stores and 40 new pharmacies is confirmed,” said Ramsunder.
He added that Clicks had the long-term vision to open new stores and there is no reason for this strategy to change as a result of the pandemic. The new stores will also exclude any acquisitions, save for any acquisitions that may be attractive to the company.
They will continue to acquire both private and independent pharmacies that have worked with Clicks before.
Employees from stores like Claire’s or Musica, which are owned by the Clicks Group, may be employed at new Clicks stores to protect their jobs.