German-based beauty retailer Douglas has made another step towards the increased digitalisation of its business model with the acquisition of the Dutch online pharmacy Disapo.
Based in Heerlen, in The Netherlands, disapo.de Apotheke B.V. is among the high-growth providers in the online pharmacy business. The company employs 200 staffs with Germany and China as current core markets.
“The markets for beauty and health are increasingly converging, which we can clearly see in the wishes of our customers,” says Douglas Group CEO Tina Müller. “We recognised this trend early on and began to continuously expand our assortment to include more health products. We will continue to build upon our leading role as a beauty and health platform in this segment. In the course of the upcoming introduction of e-prescriptions in Germany, the online pharmacy business is expected to witness huge growth. With Disapo, we will systematically exploit the growth opportunities in the online health market.”
The German retailer said it will connect Disapo to its own digital platform, thus offering its customers access to the online pharmacy. The launch is planned for the first half of the year, initially in Germany with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, which will be offered, sold and shipped independently via Disapo on the Douglas marketplace. The options for ordering prescription medicines will be further expanded when so-called e-prescriptions are introduced nationwide in Germany in the course of the year.
“By offering over-the-counter medicines and other pharmacy products through Disapo, our marketplace will instantly reach millions of customers in Germany alone. We are thus systematically developing into a beauty and health platform,” says Vanessa Stützle, Chief Digital Officer of Douglas Group. “We are planning a gradual expansion of the online pharmacy offering into our core European countries, thus entering a market with sales in 2020 in excess of 160 billion euros.”
Disapo founder and CEO Sebastian Kraus will remain at the head of disapo.de Apotheke B.V. and will contribute his online retail expertise with pharmaceuticals and other pharmacy products to the partnership with Douglas.
The acquisition remains subject to antitrust approval and is expected to close this Spring.