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Promotions drive 20-week sales rise for Clicks

Amid pressurised consumers, negative sentiment and load shedding.

South African drugstore chain Clicks Group reported a 9.9% rise in 20-week sales on Thursday, driven by value promotions in the deteriorating consumer spending environment.

Special offers have helped Clicks drive volume despite the squeeze on retailers from high household debts, increased fuel and electricity prices, slow economic growth and a hike in value-added tax.

Group turnover increased to R12.9 billion in the 20 weeks to January 12. Sales in its retail health and beauty units, which include Clicks and franchise brands GNC, The Body Shop and Claire’s, rose by 9%.

“Our wide range of gifting and value offering, supported by the convenience of the Clicks chain’s extensive retail and pharmacy footprint, ensured that we maintained our robust sales momentum of recent years and sustained volume growth,” Clicks group CEO Vikesh Ramsunder said in a statement.

“This was achieved despite the increasing pressures on consumer disposable income, negative sentiment and the serious impact of electricity load shedding on retail trading hours and shoppers in general over the past two months,” he said.

United Pharmaceutical Distributors, the group’s pharmaceutical distributor, increased total managed turnover by 10.2% as the business traded well and benefited from gaining new wholesale and distribution contracts.

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