DDS rethinks model

Discount Drug Stores has detailed new retail concepts and technological advancements at its national conference on the Gold Coast this week.

This includes the launch of a new “health-food concept”, its “next-generational” retail platform powered by FRED NXT, and the DDS “retail academy”.

The brand’s two new retail models are described as offering current owners, franchisees and potential owners a broader, more diverse array of options to deliver healthcare advice and solutions to patients and the community.

DDS says these include incorporating its new health-foods concept into a ‘store within a store’ and a new pharmacy and health-food ‘big box’ model, offering all of the traditional pharmacy products and services along with one of Australia’s widest ranges of health food and organics for a “more holistic health offering”.

With five ‘big box’ concept stores for the health-food concept already open across Queensland, and two stores implementing the ‘store within a store’ concept in Western Australia, DDS says it has already seen the new category drive significant growth and is set to integrate the ‘holistic healthcare’ concept across a number of existing stores in its network.

Douglas Kuskopf-Dallas, General Manager of DDS parent Sigma’s Discount Pharmacy Retail Group, says the launch of its health-food concept is the evolution of the brand.

“Health benefits are a major driver for increased spending by organic purchasers,” he said. “We’ve identified a clear gap in the market and our health foods concept is our response to meet a growing customer demand for organics and health foods, and widen our ability to provide holistic healthcare beyond dispensing drugs and health clinics.”

DDS says it continues to increase its technology ventures, with advancements in the pipeline including projects to improve inventory management, CarePro, MedAdvisor and Doctors on Demand.

This year, it says, the brand will also roll out new training programs for retail staff, including the DDS ‘retail academy’ to upskill retail teams and enhance the customer retail experience.