Humble beginnings – 1982
Our story began with pharmacist-turned-CEO, Rob Gibbs. He opened the very first Mopani Pharmacy on 24 March 1982, in the Pick ‘n Pay centre in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. The quaint store had 100m² floorspace and 5 staff members.
Growing up -1987
The small store passed infancy and headed into childhood in the next five years, expanding it’s size to 350m². As photography and film development printing increased in popularity, Mr. Gibbs seized the opportunity to add a photo lab to the store. The staff count increased to 13.
Becoming a local household name – 1992
A decade in, the store expanded with another 500m². The photo lab was relocated to a separate store in a nearby mall. This allowed the pharmacy to expand its dispensary and add a Primary Health Clinic with two consulting rooms and Sisters to consult patients. A retail section was introduced as well, for the sales of fragrances and cosmetics. The Mopani Family grew to a staff of 36.
The fully fledged adult – 2003
By Mopani’s 21st birthday, it was ready to expand once again. In July 2003, Mopani made the great trek across the road to Crossing Centre, acquiring 1700m² of space to set up shop.
With this new space, Mopani added a Sports Nutrition and upgraded Vitamin retail section, as well as a Business-to-Business department (known as B2B). B2B offers companies and individuals the opportunity to buy in bulk, to stock their own shelves at more affordable pricing. The Mopani Salon was added to offer massages, mani-pedi’s, facials and other services.
Have you got a Mopani Card? – 2008
In July 2008, the Mopani Card was introduced in line with other popular reward card programmes. Customers could now accumulate redeemable points, and get access to exclusive savings!
Baby Club – 2009
The newly introduced Mopani Card paved the way for the launch of the Mopani Baby Club. The Baby Club offers support, information, encouragement and pampering to new parents, with the added bonus of specialised gifts and goodies to sample.
If not outward, then onward! – 2010
Mopani opened a second store with over 1000m² of floorspace in April 2010, at I’langa Mall.
Meet Spencer – 2011
In October 2011 an automated dispensary system from Germany, which we named Spencer, was added to the Crossings store team. Spencer accurately dispenses medicine, picking and pulling with robotic arms, to help our pharmacists serve our customers quickly and efficiently.
Gaining territory – 2012
Mr Gibbs once again saw the opportunity to expand, and incorporated the Danie Malan Pharmacy into the Mopani group. This led to our third store launch in White River Square – our first expansion outside Nelspruit. The size of our White River store is approximately 560m².
Mopani hosted its first Baby Expo that year.
Never been easier to get your chronic medicine – 2014
In January 2014 we launched our Chronic Medicine Program - EasyPlan, a dispensing system developed to improve adherence and simplify complicated prescriptions with blister packs. It is a convenient, 7-day pack with individual packaging for every time of the day.
You can have each of your medications sorted, according to meal or bed-times. If you add multivitamins or supplements, they will be packed in the slot where they will be most effective, in accordance with your existing medication. If you have something new added, it will be checked for contra-indications.
Easy peazy, blister pack squeezy!
Each item that a blister pack customer is using, is added onto the software to create the treatment plan, the items are packed, according to the treatment plan, manually into the blister packing material and then sealed by a heated sealing machine.
We go the extra mile to liaise with each customer’s doctor to ensure the medication is taken exactly the way it is prescribed. We are contracted to all medial aids and their rates.
Not big enough! - 2016
In April 2016, flagship store at Crossings expanded to a whopping 2578m² and a total of 135 permanent employees!
The upgraded store boasts an impressive retail trading area of 1603m², a brand-new coffee shop (Mopani Fresh) and two separate clinics; the Wellness Clinic and the Homegrown Babies Clinic, respectively. The store is also known as Head Office to the executives, marketing team, buyers, administrative staff, and the B2B department. Spencer also got an upgrade!
I said, not big enough! – 2017
Our I’langa store enjoyed its own revamp and expansion to 1500m² and 53 staff members. It was time to get their very own world-class dispensing robot, she was named Molly.
Two baby additions to the family – 2018
Our Steiltes Centre Mopani store in the suburbs of Nelspruit, opened in May 2018. It has only 330m² floorspace, but where it lacks in size, it makes up with the small-town community pharmacy feel that customers came to know and love during Mopani’s humble beginnings.
The second addition is Mopani Online, our online shop running from Head Office. It started as a small platform for customers to get their Mopani shopping and medications delivered locally, but soon turned into a self-sufficient department, serving customers, nationwide!
The sky is not our limit - 2021
In April 2021, we launched our 5th store at Riverside Mall. It rivals the I’langa store in size and has an added exclusive, luxury fragrance and cosmetics boutique.
Today Mopani employs more than 300 staff members.