Dis-Chem was founded in 1978 when then recently qualified pharmacists, Ivan and Lynette Saltzman, opened their first retail pharmacy in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, South Africa
Dis-Chem was founded in 1978 when then recently qualified pharmacists, Ivan and Lynette Saltzman, opened their first retail pharmacy in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, South Africa. Beginning with its first store, Dis-Chem introduced the concept of a discount pharmacy with product categories not previously offered in pharmacies in South Africa.
The Saltzmans’ second retail pharmacy followed in 1984 at the Randridge Mall in Randburg, north of Johannesburg. Toward the end of the 1980s, Dis-Chem began expanding its offering of non-pharmaceutical products or its “front shop” offering, and opened a third retail pharmacy. The business continued to expand in the 1990s…
In 2003, laws changed in South Africa allowing for non-pharmacists to own pharmacies, which, despite posing a competitive threat to Dis-Chem, led to continued growth for Dis-Chem and opportunities for it to refine and develop its business model. That year, Dis-Chem also launched its loyalty program.
100th store opened.
In 2016, Dis-Chem purchased the remaining stake in CJ Distribution and increased its interest in Pharmacy Development Academy and Evening Star to controlling shares in each, and began to combine the operations of CJ Group with Dis-Chem’s pre-existing wholesale business, with CJ Group’s CEO becoming Dis-Chem’s head of CJ Distribution.
In November 2016, the Group listed 27.5% of its issued share capital on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). This was the second largest initial public offering (IPO) on the exchange. Upon Listing, Dis-Chem became the 100% shareholder in nine of its stores which were co-owned by Dis-Chem and independent pharmacists.
First integrated Report issued. Today, Ivan and Lynette continue to lead as Dis-Chem’s CEO and Managing Director, respectively.