One of the largest pharmacy chains in the country with 240 stores, Guardian Pharmacy, plans to add about 100 stores every year for the next five years and go public in next two to three years. To achieve this rate of growth the company would need to invest around Rs 50 crore annually. Currently, about 90% of its 240 stores are concentrated in northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and the National Capital Region. The route of expansion would be through a mix of acquisitions of standalone chemists, company owned stores and a franchise model that is being tried out. Acquiring mom and pop chemist stores was not a very easy option a decade ago, but as the present generation of chemists enters their 60s and 70s with their children no more interested in running the business in many cases, the company has been getting calls to take over. The acquisition model varies on a case-to-case basis and could range from an upfront payment and fixed salary model to the revenue sharing model. Besides focusing on expansion the pharmacy chain has also focused on building margins and a sustainable advantage. For this the retailer has launched its private labels business and entered into tie-ups with players like GNC, the largest selling brand of vitamins and dietary supplements of US, Yves Rocher, a globally famous France-based beauty brand and Singapore-based OTO Bodycare, among others.