Discount Drug Stores reveals expansion plans, member benefits announced

Sarah Stowe

Discount Drugs stores plans to expand its franchise numbers, with a goal to open about 16 more stores in the next 12 months.

“We have 136 retail outlets now and aim to open another 14 to 16 stores in the next 12 months. NSW is our fastest growing state and over the next 18 to 24 months, we will have 50 stores in NSW,” executive general manager Douglas Kuskopf-Dallas said.

Despite numerous plans to innovate and expand the business Kuskopf-Dallas said that ongoing costs won’t be passed onto store owners. The fact that the brand is backed by pharmaceutical giant Sigma Pharmaceuticals allows investment areas into retail outlets, which doesn’t sting franchisees.

“The extra costs will not be passed onto store owners. DDS is conscious of the margin and profit pressures stores are under from PBS reform, so the brand is making the investment into extra advertising and programs. To help overcome the reduction in profit, we must drive growth for our franchise owners which is why we are investing in these areas.

“Being backed by large, successful company, Sigma Pharmaceuticals has allowed the brand to invest in these areas that are important to our retail outlets. In addition to the increased investment in the brand, we are rewarding owners by increasing the rebates paid to stores, which further reduces their costs,” Kuskopf-Dallas said.

At a national conference Discount Drug Stores unveiled its new services to offer more value and better opportunities for its members, as well as its plans to expand the business.

The conference was shaped around ways to more effectively manage staff in a pharmacy environment, with presentations from Tina Scrine from the Pharmacy Guild, with a session on customer engagement, loyalty and the future of consumer behaviour.

Kuskopf-Dallas described the current climate as one of the most challenging periods the pharmacy industry has seen in recent years.

“We have spent the last few years planning and preparing for the PBS reforms and now that our industry is in the midst of these changes, we are continuing to invest further by launching initiatives to help our members with the transition and to offer both our customers and business owners more value.

“We’re investing in new initiatives whilst also increasing the business support rebate for our members, which means we’ve been able to stick to our commitment over the last four years of providing more benefits to owners while reducing costs,” Kuskopf-Dallas said.