Wed | Jan 27, 2021

Two more Fontanas to come

Published:Friday | January 17, 2020 | 7:58 AM

Fontana CEO Anne Chang.
Fontana CEO Anne Chang.

F ontana Limited plans to set up two new locations, which would take its chain of pharmacies to eight.

CEO Anne Chang declined to give details on where and when, but said the site selections would adhere to the model of securing long lease arrangements in prime retail locations. Chang later added that any location would also require lots of parking.

“People come to us all the time to set up pharmacies,” said Chang in a Financial Gleaner interview. “Right now, we have two opportunities we are seriously evaluating.”

Last October, Fontana opened up its largest branch, a 28,000-square-foot store laid out on two levels, at Waterloo Square in Kingston.

Chang did not reveal sales estimates at Waterloo Square, saying the company was in its quiet period ahead of the release of its quarterly earnings report. In such periods, financial disclosures are restricted.

Exceptional growth

However, Chang noted that the average spend is higher at Waterloo than at other locations.

“We are happy with the sales. Let me say extremely happy,” she said. “Revenue per transaction is exceptional. Let us leave it at that.”

The pharmacy company’s six-branch network employs over 400 persons. The chain stocks a range of health and personal care products, housewares, cosmetics, toys and other consumer items.

Fontana shares were listed on the junior stock market in January 2019 at $1.88. The FTNA stock is now trading at $7, valuing the company at $8.75 billion.

Fontana Pharmacy, founded by Bobby and Angela Chang, first opened for business on November 30, 1968. The group, chaired by Kevin O’Brien Chang, is now run by the second generation of Changs.