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Beauty and health are converging: DOUGLAS enters online pharmacy market

Acquisition of Disapo 02/10/2022

  • DOUGLAS acquires Dutch online pharmacy to enter high-growth online pharmacy market
  • Online pharmacy to be linked to DOUGLAS platform – launch in Germany
  • Plans for gradual expansion of over-the-counter pharmacy products in core European DOUGLAS markets
  • Tina Müller, DOUGLAS Group CEO: “The beauty and health markets are increasingly converging. By entering the online pharmacy market, we will systematically exploit the growth opportunities in the healthcare market.”


Düsseldorf, 10 February 2022. With the acquisition of the Dutch online pharmacy Disapo, DOUGLAS is opening up an enormous growth area while also significantly expanding its health product portfolio. For Europe’s leading premium beauty platform, this move is one more step in its systematic digitalisation strategy. Based in Heerlen (NL), Apotheke B.V. is among the high-growth providers in the online pharmacy business, currently with Germany and China as core markets. The company with around 200 employees recorded sales in the high double-digit million range in the 2021 financial year. By making this acquisition, DOUGLAS is strengthening two pillars of its growth strategy: the consistent digitalisation of its business model and the expansion of DOUGLAS Group’s offering to include healthcare products.

“The markets for beauty and health are increasingly converging, which we can clearly see in the wishes of our customers,” says DOUGLAS Group CEO Tina Müller. “We recognised this trend early on and began to continuously expand our assortment to include more health products. We will continue to build upon our leading role as a beauty and health platform in this segment. In the course of the upcoming introduction of e-prescriptions in Germany, the online pharmacy business is expected to witness huge growth. With Disapo, we will systematically exploit the growth opportunities in the online health market.”

DOUGLAS will connect Disapo to its own digital platform, thus offering millions of DOUGLAS customers access to the online pharmacy. The launch is planned for the first half of the year, initially in Germany with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, which will be offered, sold and shipped independently via the partner Disapo on the DOUGLAS marketplace. The options for ordering prescription medicines will be further expanded when so-called e-prescriptions are introduced nationwide in Germany in the course of the year.

“By offering over-the-counter medicines and other pharmacy products through Disapo, our marketplace will instantly reach millions of customers in Germany alone. We are thus systematically developing into a beauty and health platform,” says Vanessa Stützle, Chief Digital Officer of DOUGLAS Group. “We are planning a gradual expansion of the online pharmacy offering into our core European countries, thus entering a market with sales in 2020 in excess of 160 billion euros.”

DOUGLAS has already signed a purchase agreement with Disapo founder and CEO Sebastian Kraus. The acquisition remains subject to antitrust approval; the transaction closing is expected in the course of the spring. Sebastian Kraus will remain CEO of Apotheke B.V. and will contribute his online retail expertise with pharmaceuticals and other pharmacy products to the partnership with DOUGLAS. “Over the past few years, we have put a great deal of passion and energy into making Disapo a high-performance online pharmacy,” says Kraus. “Now we are pooling our strengths with DOUGLAS to open up outstanding new growth prospects. I am very much looking forward to working with the DOUGLAS management team.”

The sales volume of the German pharmacy market in 2020 is estimated at around 60 billion euros; in the DOUGLAS core countries of France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Austria and the Netherlands, the volume was last estimated at more than 100 billion euros. Online retail accounted for around five percent of the total market in Germany in 2020. Disapo has a broad portfolio and was named “Trend Shop Rising Star of 2022” by Computerbild and Statista.

About the DOUGLAS Group

DOUGLAS is the leading premium beauty platform in Europe. Offering more than 160,000 beauty and lifestyle products in online shops, the beauty marketplace and over 2,000 stores, DOUGLAS inspires customers to live their own kind of beauty by offering a previously unparalleled assortment. The continued expansion of the fast-growing e-commerce business is the focus of the #FORWARDBEAUTY.DigitalFirst strategy programme. In fiscal year 2020/2021, DOUGLAS generated sales of 3.1 billion euros in the areas of perfumery, decorative cosmetics, skin and hair care as well as nutritional supplements, health and accessories.


Peter Wübben
Head of Corporate Communications & Sustainability

Tel: +49 211 16847 8569