Clicks Group, the JSE’s fourth-largest retailer by market capitalisation, is taking advantage of rising vacancies in shopping centres to accelerate its store roll-out. The beauty and health retailer, which usually opens 25 to 30 stores annually, plans to open 41 outlets during this financial year. This is in sharp contrast to its peers, which are cutting costs and reviewing expansion strategies as a result of the sluggish economy. The difficulty in the sector can be seen in the country’s biggest clothing retailer, Edcon, planning to reduce its space by about a third over the next three years. New Clicks CEO Vikesh Ramsunder said the lethargic economy had led to more attractive retail space coming to market, giving it the opportunity to place stores in locations it had been targeting for a while. Ramsunder said the group’s long-term goal was to eventually have a national footprint of about 900 stores. It had opened 17 in 2019, bringing the number of shops it operated to 640. The incr...

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