Globally, retail pharmacies are adapting their models to meet changing consumer preferences. According to consulting firm McKinsey, the pharmacy of the future needs to create “a differentiated experience for the consumer” or offer a “differentiated set of products and services.”
Meeting the evolving needs of consumers is a priority for Clicks. Nearly two decades after the first Clicks pharmacy opened in Sea Point, Cape Town, the health, beauty and wellness retailer opened its 700th pharmacy at Design Quarter in Fourways, Johannesburg on Thursday, 25 May 2023 as part of its continued drive to expand access to affordable healthcare.
Its long-term goal is to expand its current retail footprint of 861 stores to 1200 stores. Half of the country’s population currently live within 5.2 kilometres of a Clicks pharmacy, highlighting the convenience and accessibility of the retail pharmacy chain.
Vikash Singh, Managing Executive of Clicks, says that the retailer saves customers around R150 million a year via its promotions and generic medication substitution offering. “Clicks has the highest penetration of the schedule one and two medication market in the country,” he says, adding that one in four medicines is purchased at Clicks.
McKinsey maintains that pharmacies need to invest in delivering pharmaceutical care when and where consumers need it most. They also need to create more personalised experiences to differentiate their services.
In recent years Clicks has introduced a number of innovations including smart lockers for the collection of medication, an on-demand medicine delivery, a pharmacy chat service and a virtual doctor in clinics. These services are all focused on providing convenience, choice and accessible healthcare. Nurse practitioners at its 200 clinics provide holistic primary healthcare services including wellness consultations, diabetic nurse educator services, mother and baby services, family planning, preventative testing and vaccinations.
As part of Clicks’ commitment to help build a healthy, proactive nation, the retailer launched the Clicks Supplement Recommender earlier this year. Developed by a team of nutritionists and dieticians, the online tool identifies health, lifestyle and behavioural factors associated with nutrition and health outcomes to generate personalised supplement recommendations aimed at supporting optimal health and well-being.
Clicks has partnered with the Department of Health to provide easily accessible pick-up points for state-supplied medication, processing more than 2 million parcels a year on behalf of the department. Clicks is currently the largest employer of pharmacists in the private sector. In addition to upskilling and improving the professional standing of pharmacists, the Clicks Pharmacy Academy offers a learnership programme for 450 school leavers a year.
Clicks ClubCard, the largest retail loyalty programme in South Africa with 10 million active members, is modelled on a value proposition, offering easily redeemable cashback rewards in a transparent manner. In 2022, the programme paid out more than R600 million in cashback rewards to members.
Clicks was originally conceived as a drugstore when it first opened its doors in 1968 but restrictive legislation at the time meant that founder Jack Goldin’s vision was only realised 35 years later. Since then, pharmacies have become a vital component of Clicks’ offering.