Vietnam sees chain drugstores boom during COVID-19 pandemic: Nikkei Asia hinh anh 1Long Chau, an affiliate under Vietnamese tech group FPT (Photo: VNA)
Tokyo (VNA) - As the coronavirus pandemic has spread through Vietnam, so has the number of drugstores operated by major chains, Nikkei Asia reported on August 24.

The number of drugstores run by the three major chains has increased eightfold since 2019 as Vietnamese residents become more health conscious in the wake of the pandemic, the newspaper said.

According to Nikkei Asia, mom-and-pop stores were once the go-to for medicine in Vietnam, known for their attentive customer service. However, they were also known for an opaque pricing system that often forced buyers to purchase medicine at a verbal quote.

Rising income levels and changing consumer habits are creating growth tailwinds for drugstore chains in Vietnam, it said. 

There are now about 2,400 outlets between Vietnam's three biggest drugstore chains. Pharmacity, the biggest, has roughly 1,100 locations.

Meanwhile, Long Chau, an affiliate under Vietnamese tech group FPT, has roughly 700 locations; and An Khang, acquired by electronics retailer Mobile World Group, fields approximately 500 stores.

Nikkei Asia quoted CEO of Pharmacity Chris Blank as saying that by 2025, half the Vietnamese population will be able to reach a Pharmacity store within 10 minutes by motorcycle. The company plans to expand the network to 5,000 stores by that date./.