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Pharmacy Market Insight 2024: Midlands

In this blog post, Carl Steer, Director - Medical, shares his insight into the pharmacy market in the Midlands.

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Following the conclusion of the LloydsPharmacy sales in 2023, over the first half of 2024, some medium-to-large pharmacy group operators divested from their estate, hoping to capitalise on the consistently high volume of buyers still seeking opportunities. As a result, we have seen an increase in the number of sales of smaller pharmacies with dispensing volumes of 5,000 items or below.

Similarly, we have also seen independent pharmacy owners starting to re-consider selling, albeit in small numbers, while others hold off to see how the Pharmacy First scheme performs alongside the outcome of the sector’s funding negotiations. More recently, the latter has been frustrated by the General Election which is likely to delay any announcement until the Autumn at the earliest.

Nonetheless, where pharmacies do come to market, there is no shortage of buyers. As a result, many sales are agreed quickly.

Buyer appetite

First-time buyer appetite remains strong across much of the market, especially for assets that are priced between £300,000 and £1,000,000.

Existing pharmacy group operators are starting to return to the market after a busy 2023 where they had either taken advantage of the volume of corporate disposals in the market or chosen to focus on their current estate in what was a challenging year for pharmacy operators. This group of buyers is more focused on pharmacies achieving over 7,000 RX per month, so tends to be interested in pharmacies with a value of over £750,000.

Areas of Interest

Whilst there are hot spots in the midlands such as Leicestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, and parts of Warwickshire, market interest is generally consistent across the region, with early interest being attracted for profitable, quality pharmacy opportunities.

Appetite has particularly returned for village and small-town trading locations, as buyers seek trading locations with less competition and those that may have an older demographic and/or affluence to pursue additional service income. We saw an example of this through the recent sale of Wednesbury Pharmacy – a standard hours community pharmacy located in the market town of Sandwell, which dispenses circa 7,700 RX per month. The business was sold on a leasehold basis to a nearby independent operator who will consider a merger into his existing pharmacy in due time. It was sold off-market within two weeks for the guide price, highlighting the demand for businesses in areas such as this.


For asset sales, due to challenges in the regulatory process around fitness to practice and change of ownership applications, sales are, on average, taking about six to nine months to complete in the Midlands, with the average completion time in the UK in 2023 being 32 weeks (7.2 months).

Similarly, the timeline for share sales and the sudden increase in workload for solicitors and banks has resulted in a timeline pushing out to mirror that of asset sales.

The sale of Yew Tree Pharmacy, Walsall

Yew Tree Pharmacy in Walsall is a standard hours community pharmacy dispensing circa 10,000 items per month. We were instructed to sell it on a leasehold basis and, in December 2023 completed to a pair of first-time buyers - a local business owner and his Pharmacist son, who worked with Christie Finance to raise the funds for the purchase.

Our client wished to retain confidentiality and so the pharmacy was sold ‘off-market’. We approached a shortlist of potential suitors, and a sale was agreed within four weeks. This is a good example of the strength of buyer appetite in the region, as we attracted a number of offers quickly. The buyer had been actively seeking their first pharmacy for more than three years and acted swiftly when it was presented to them.

If you’d like to know more about the Midlands pharmacy market, or for a confidential chat about your business, contact Carl Steer: / +44 7917 475 229

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