Apollo Pharmacy, a division of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises (AHEL), is planning to open large format pharmacy outlets.

The proposed large format outlets will occupy 1,500-2,000ft² of retail space and cater to health, wellness, skin care, and beauty solutions, besides pharma products, reported Business Standard.

The company will begin the pilot project in South India with the first store expected to open very soon.

Based on the performance of the pilot project, the company will mull over further expansion.

Apollo Pharmacy is currently available both as attached to the hospitals and clinics by AHEL and also as standalone standard format stores across the country

Apollo Hospitals group president K Padmanabhan told the website that as of 31 March 2012, the company operated 1,364 outlets and is also looking to add 600-700 new outlets in the next three to four years with an aim of reaching 2,000 outlets in the said time frame.

"We think around 5,000 to 10,000 outlets would be a critical mass, but we are aiming at 2,000-plus pharmacy outlets in the next three to four years," said Padmanabhan.

According to Padmanabhan, currently there are 600,000 pharmacies across the country and a goal of the group owning 5,000 of thosenot very ambitious.

The pharma retail chain has a pan-India presence, with around 40% outlets in the National Capital Region and the rest in the South Indian region.

The company reported INR2, 377m ($42m) in revenues for the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2012, growing 30.5% from INR1, 821m ($32.67) for the corresponding quater of the previous year.