Watsons to open more pharmacies in Cebu
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - November 1, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Watsons Philippines will open more pharmacy stores in Cebu in addition to its 31 full-range personal care stores within Metro Cebu area.

Watsons personal care stores offer personal care items, pharmacies, beauty products, and toiletries among others.

Sharon Presbitero, Watsons Personal Care (Phils) Inc., group marketing manager said:  "We are widely known as a beauty store, now we are going to strengthen our health business side."

She added that the company's Watsons Generics component is aimed at providing the market with medicines that could give them at most 80 percent savings compared to buying branded medicines.

  In recent years, the company has seen an encouraging double-digit growth for its health business, prompting the company to spread out its pharmacy concept to smaller community areas across the Philippines.

  Traditionally, the Philippine customer-base rely heavily of branded products especially in health or medicine products. Today, Presbitero said Filipinos are now more aware to ask for generics, and understood that generic products have the same composition and effects to that of branded and expensive brands.

  A Watsons Pharmacy format usually sits on 150 square meters to 200 square meters stores. It could be a stand-alone facility or situated in a community mall or small commercial strips.

 "We are expanding the range of our generics products," said company general manager Ma. Cecillia T. Canlas.

 A joint venture between AS Watsons Group in Hong Kong and SM Group which started its operations in the Philippines 14 years ago, the company now operates 500 Watsons stores in the country.

 Aside from expanding its generics medicine choices, Watsons is also bringing in more alternative or naturally-processed supplements, and organic products for the growing health-conscious consumers.

Watsons opens an average of 80 to 100 stores annually.

In 2002, AS Watson Group joined hands with SM Prime Holdings Inc., in a joint venture deal. The partnership brought about the first Watsons stores in SM Megamall and The Podium (Ortigas) in Manila.

Today, Watsons is becoming a household name for personal care go-to-store. Soon, it strives to become a premier community household brand in pharmacy store format.

Watsons is operating three different store formats; these are the stand-alone (health and wellness) store, pure pharmacy, and all-beauty store. (FREEMAN)

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