26th, Jan. 2012
BERJAYA’S direct selling unit, Cosway Corp Ltd, will spend an estimated RM100 million to open its Cosway Pharmacy retail concept to as far as South America.
Cosway Pharmacy, a three-in-one store, will offer Cosway products which range from household products to personal care, pharmaceutical products and its Country Farm Organics range.
Chief executive officer of Cosway Al Chuah said that the investment includes existing markets as well as new ones like Mexico, Colombia and Russia, which it will venture into in the first quarter this year.
The company hopes to open 50 stores within the first 12 months in these new markets.
Here in Malaysia, Cosway (M) Sdn Bhd’s target is to have 200 Cosway Pharmacy outlets this year with an ultimate goal of strengthening its network to 1,000 stores within five years.
Al Chuah, who launched the first Cosway Pharmacy in Berjaya Times Square yesterday, said within the next one-and-a-half years, Cosway could emerge as the largest retail pharmacy chain in Malaysia, overtaking Guardian.
This is because expansion will involve both the incorporation of pharmacies within an existing Cosway store or vice versa, as well as the opening of completely new Cosway Pharmacy outlets.
There are a total of 800 Cosway stores and 2,000 retail pharmacies in Malaysia. To date, Cosway has obtained the commitment of about 10 pharmacists to set up the concept.
Malaysia currently has a shortage of pharmacists, which is expected to be resolved within the next two to three years.
As such, the Cosway package has to be attractive enough for get a pharmacist to join now.
The store, referred to as a free store, will see Cosway bear the burden of renovations, rental and utilities. It will also supply the products on consignment.
To lure the pharmacists, Cosway plans to match the take-home salary of a pharmacist, but it is expected to more than double immediately after adopting this model.
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