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Vietnam’s biggest retailer Masan to bolster pharmacy retail interests

(Source: Phano Pharmacy / Facebook)

Masan, one of the biggest Vietnamese retail companies, is expanding its foray into pharmacy retailing with the launch of a new chain called Dr Win.

At the end of March, Masan founded Winphar Corporation, which later adopted the name Dr Win. Masan previously entered the pharmacy category through the purchase of local chain Phano Pharmacy last year.

Masan introduced a retail model called CV Life (Convenience Life), which integrates services like pharmacies, banks, F&B outlets, telecommunication services and supermarkets. This model is a component of Masan’s Point of Life strategy and represents the retail giant’s entry into the pharmaceutical sector.

The pharmaceutical industry is perhaps the potential pie for Vietnamese giant retailers, as tough economic times force consumers to cut back on unnecessary spending and the severe impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. Moreover, Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market is mostly dominated by small and local pharmacies.

There are three significant pharmacy chains operating in Vietnam: Pharmacity, Long Chau (owned by FPT Retail), and An Khang (owned by Mobile World). Long Chau and An Khang have 707 and 520 stores nationwide respectively, while Pharmacity is the largest with 1126 pharmacies.

Mobile World recently closed a number of underperforming Bach Hoa Xanh grocery stores to concentrate on expanding An Khang, while Pharmacity plans to open 5000 pharmacies by 2025. FPT Retail also aims to open more Long Chau stores, as part of its expansion plan.

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