Pharmacies are an essential service and are fortunate to be allowed to continue to trade during Level 4. However this doesn’t mean that they are prospering while other retailers are closed.
While their dispensary business is as busy as usual with prescriptions – the challenge of having to operate without customer contact increases the workload significantly.
Meanwhile their more profitable retail activity has suffered a drop of -22% sales compared with normal – with some pharmacies in malls, central city locations or within medical centres losing up to 80% of their retail sales.
A small number of pharmacies in isolated suburban locations or rural towns have experienced an increase in retail sales. This is due to their location being more convenient and local for locked-down customers.
On the positive side, many pharmacies are now providing COVID vaccination clinics, and are using this an opportunity to enhance their recognition as first line community health providers.