On Monday, Clicks announced plans to buy the retail pharmacy business of Pick n Pay, including 25 in-store pharmacies which will be rebranded to Clicks.
All staff employed in the pharmacies will transfer from Pick n Pay to Clicks.
While Shoprite has seen strong growth recently from its pharmacy group Medirite and medical supplier Transpharm, this is not a focus for Pick n Pay.
"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," Pick n Pay chief operating officer Adrian Naudé said 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 the largest retail pharmacy network in the country, and the new deal will increase its national presence to 632 pharmacies.
"Currently 50% of the country's population live within 6km of a Clicks pharmacy and we aim to improve this over time as we get closer to customers," Vikesh Ramsunder, Clicks CEO said in a statement. The acquisition of the pharmacy chain from Pick n Pay will "accelerate" this strategy, he added.
The proposed transaction is subject to approval by competition and regulatory authorities.