Ever since its inception back in the 1960s, Clicks has been a classic example of “slow and steady wins the race”. Its results have rarely if ever shot the lights out, it never ventured into the rest of Africa searching for growth (other than to SA’s neighbouring states), and it has hardly ever deviated from its well-understood sales model, other than at the margin. Little wonder then that it is the second-highest market capitalisation share in the retail sector of the JSE, after Shoprite, and the second-most highly rated after DisChem.

Founded by retail entrepreneur Jack Goldin, Clicks’ master plan was always to offer the full range of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, in much the same way as the US drug store model. At the time, apartheid-era legislation forbade nonpharmacists from owning pharmacies. It took until 2003 before the legislation changed to allow Clicks and other retailers to participate in drug retailing, and the group was quick off the mark to capitali...

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