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Discount Drug Stores talks strategy

DDSDiscount Drug Stores (DDS) has outlined its new digital strategy, including the introduction of a loyalty club and a new e-commerce site that is designed to direct orders to individual franchisees

The strategy was announced at its first national conference since being acquired by Central Healthcare Services (CHS), a subsidiary of Sigma Pharmaceuticals, which also owns the Guardian and Amcal Pharmacies chains. Discount Drug Stores has  more than 130 stores nationally.

Focusing on strategies to stay competitive and successful, Douglas Kuskopf-Dallas, executive GM of DDS, described the current climate as “one of the most challenging periods the pharmacy industry has seen”.

“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,” Kuskopf-Dallas said.

“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. We feel it’s very important to help our stores achieve efficiencies and improve productivity so that our staff in those stores are able to spend more time engaging with our customers.

“On saying that, it’s important for our brand to reach new customers and grow the number of people visiting our stores. Through an increased investment in marketing, particularly focusing on television commercials, loyalty programs and local area marketing we believe we can make progress in these areas,” Kuskopf-Dallas said.

As part of its new digital focus, DDS will also roll out a new television campaign which will be a collaboration between CHS pharmacies offering greater media opportunities for major brands instore through a new ‘infomercial’.

“With pharmacy under the spotlight, our stores need to engage with customers more than ever, so we are ensuring we have programmes in place to enhance this engagement and also to ensure our staff have the utmost training and dedication,” said Kuskopf-Dallas.

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