Retail in brief | API, GNC, Shop Apotheke Europe

Retail in brief | API, GNC, Shop Apotheke Europe

22 July 2021 - Deborah Wilkes

Wesfarmers has made a takeover offer for Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API), GNC has announced two changes to its leadership team, and Shop Apotheke Europe has released financial results.

Wesfarmers makes offer for API

Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers has made an AUD687 million (USD505 million) takeover offer for Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API), which owns the Priceline Pharmacy chain as well as the Soul Pattinson Chemist and Pharmacist Advice brands.

API said its board had started an assessment of the “unsolicited, non-binding, conditional indicative proposal”.

The company pointed out that its portfolio of pharmacy distribution, health and beauty retail, and skincare businesses had “attractive characteristics” and were “well positioned for growth in a number of areas”.

Wesfarmers noted that API’s major shareholder – Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company, which has a 19.3% stake – had agreed to vote in favour of the proposed takeover.

Rob Scott, managing director of Wesfarmers, said the acquisition of API would provide an “attractive opportunity to enter the growing health, wellbeing and beauty sector”.

“If the Proposal is successful,” added Scott, “API would form the basis of a new healthcare division of Wesfarmers and a base from which to invest and develop capabilities in the health and wellbeing sector.”

GNC’s leadership changes

US-based health, wellness and performance retailer GNC has promoted Nate Frazier to executive vice president, chief operating officer, and hired Karlyn Mattson as chief merchandising officer.

Josh Burris, GNC’s chief executive officer, said Frazier had been a “catalyst of our retail turnaround” while Mattson’s “wealth of consumer-centric merchandising expertise will result in a better experience for our consumers”.

Frazier was GNC’s senior vice president of operations, leading the company’s US and Canada Stores and Operations teams. He joined GNC in 2017, having previously worked for a number of other retailers including Abercrombie & Fitch, Gamestop, Helzberg Diamonds and Mattress Firm.

Mattson will join GNC on 9 August 2021 from Zappos where she is general manager of merchandising strategy, new business development and women’s fashion. She has also worked for Famous Footwear, Target and Macy’s.

Frazier and Mattson will both report to Burris.

GNC has revamped its leadership team – including the appointment of a new chief executive officer and chief financial officer (click here to read the News story) – following its recent acquisition by China’s Harbin Pharmaceutical Group.

Shop Apotheke Europe’s results

Shop Apotheke Europe said its sales in the second quarter of 2021 had risen by 7.3% as it attracted 0.3 million new active customers during the three months.

Netherlands-based Shop Apotheke Europe reported “preliminary and unaudited” sales of EUR250 million (USD296 million) in the quarter, representing a rise of 7.3% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Shop Apotheke Europe said the number of active customers across Europe had reached more than seven million as of 30 June 2021.

The company’s growth in the second quarter was significantly lower than the 22.5% rise recorded in the first quarter of 2021 (click here to read the News story).

Chief executive officer Stefan Feltens said Shop Apotheke Europe “had to slow down growth in the quarter” as “staff numbers failed to maintain pace to fully cope with increasing customer demand both in quarter two and at the start of quarter three”.

“Additionally, the ramp-up to the next level of automation takes more time than we aimed for,” added Feltens, “and temporarily operating two logistics facilities in parallel is complex.”

Sales in Shop Apotheke Europe’s DACH segment – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – were up by 3.8% to EUR198 million in the second quarter of 2021. The segment generated 79.2% of total sales in the period.

Meanwhile, sales in the International segment – covering Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands – increased by 23.0% to EUR52 million.

Shop Apotheke Europe expects to report sales growth of between 10% and 15% in the full year 2021.

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Australian Pharmaceutical Industries GNC Shop Apotheke Europe

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