Terry White Chemmart ready to take on Amazon, discounters

Terry White Chemmart  (TWC) is well positioned to hold its own against discounters and potential new entrants, such as Amazon.

That’s the view of TWC CEO Anthony White (pictured), who predicts the group will enjoy growth despite a fiercely competitive market.

He believes pharmacy will be more resilient in the face of disruption than other retail sectors, such as electronics.

“A lot is based around the quality of the service provided by the pharmacist.

“But it’s certainly a concern. We’ve done some initial work on it and we’ve got to monitor it but generally we are feeling pharmacy is more resilient than other retailers.”

Mr White was commenting after the Terry White Group (TWG) issued a trading update for the end of the financial year.

 Based on unaudited management accounts, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are expected to be $7.5million to $8.1 million for the 2017 full financial year.

But once-off costs related to the Chemmart merger and rebranding will be a drain on net profit.

Some 190 of the 500 TWC pharmacies have been rebranded, with this number expected to hit 250 by the end of July, Mr White says.

The rebranding is ahead of schedule and it is possible the remaining pharmacies would be re-branded by early October or November.

Mr White also signaled a stronger focus on healthcare services to ensure its success in a competitive market, including from discounters.

“We must continue to evolve a differentiation strategy and that will be around health.”

But while there was an expanded role for pharmacists, pharmacy groups needed to be careful of the scope of practice, he said.