6/11/2023 | Pharmacies

Pharmacy Market Insight: The South East of England

Mark Page, Director - Medical, shares his insight into the current pharmacy market in the South East.


Image credit: Dan Senior for Unsplash

Market Overview 

Throughout 2023 to date, we have witnessed a strong pharmacy market across London and the South East, with a combination of several corporate disposals as well as a healthy supply of independent and group opportunities all fuelling interest and market appetite. With over 30 new instructions across the region this year, and prices ranging from £225,000 to £1.9 million, there are opportunities available to suit all budgets and buyer types. As a result, deal activity has increased threefold when compared with the same period last year.  

Although, along with the rest of the UK, contractors across the region have continued to experience operational and cost challenges, the recent Government announcement of an extra £645 million investment will be seen as a positive step in ongoing funding discussions to secure the future of the sector. Although the finer details of the services required to access this funding and its implementation timing are yet to be understood, we consider that this will only improve investor confidence in the sector. 

Buying activity amongst corporate groups has, for the most part, tailed off as several manage their own disposal/consolidation strategies, however, consistent appetite remains from first-time buyers, new entrants to the market, and expanding independent and regional multiple operators. Our national statistics mirror that of previous years, with first-time buyers continuing to account for circa 80% of those registered on our database, with the remaining 20% comprising independent and multiple operators of various sizes. 

Location-wise, buyers are especially interested in the Home Counties, both in and outside the M25, particularly in the smaller, more affluent towns and suburbs where there is less competition and easy access to London.  

An example of high demand from independent buyers 

At the end of February this year, we successfully completed the sale of Crown Pharmacy in Redbourn, just outside St Albans. A busy high street pharmacy, dispensing circa 8,200 items per month was offered for sale by a client looking to retire from the business. Within just five weeks of marketing, we generated nine offers from a mix of first-time buyers and expanding multiple operators. The sale was subsequently agreed to an expanding independent operator. 

This is a notable example of the demand that we are seeing for pharmacy businesses in the South East and the strength of appetite from independent buyers for quality pharmacies. 

If you would like to know more about the UK pharmacy market, or for a confidential chat about your pharmacy business, contact Mark Page: mark.page@christie.com / 07764 241 279 or Jack Chard: jack.chard@christie.com / 07590 486349.