Sights set on international expansion

Chemist Warehouse is opening its first bricks-and-mortar store in China, to serve as a pilot for future stores

Chemist Warehouse is reportedly opening its first physical store in China alongside a new online marketplace in the country, according to Inside Retail.

“It is an [online-to-offline] self-pick-up store where customers can actually shop in the store, like a real Chemist Warehouse shopping experience,” Nancy Jian, chief executive officer of Chemist Warehouse China, told the publication. 

“This will be a pilot store, and we hope to be able to replicate this in other cities of China as well once we get everything right.”

There are currently over 450 Chemist Warehouse stores throughout Australia. Meanwhile the chain has branched out into New Zealand over the past few years.

Local media in the country has reported that existing pharmacies are having trouble competing with the discounter – particularly given its stance on offering free scripts – warning that “the spread of Australian giant Chemist Warehouse risks a bloodbath that will force the local chemist to adapt or perish”.

Chemist Warehouse is reportedly the number one cross-border retailer on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Tmall Global site, after initially partnering with the marketplace in 2015.

The discount chemist giant recently renewed its strategic collaboration with Tmall Global for an additional two years, it announced this month.

As part of the new agreement, Chemist Warehouse will be opening a number of additional online stores and promises ramp up its targeted marketing efforts.

These include three new multi-brand stores that opened last month on Tmall Global under the My Chemist, My Beauty Spot and Discount Vitamin Warehouse retail brands.

In 2015, Chemist Warehouse became the first cross-border retailer in the world to achieve 10 million renminbi RMB (AUD$2.1 million) in gross merchandise volume during Alibaba’s annual 11:11 Global Shopping Festival, a feat it achieved in just 46 minutes.

In 2018, the company achieved 100 million RMB (AUD$20.8m) in gross merchandise volume in just seven hours.

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