Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/09/2014 -- The largest drugstores/parapharmacies continued expanding in 2013. Farmacia Saas, part of Comercial Belloso CA, the largest network, added 16 outlets in 2013 to reach 220. Other examples were Botiqueria, which grew from 99 to 122, and Farmatodo, expanded from 138 to 146 outlets. This outlet growth drove channel development in a year where most retailers suffered stagnation. The expansion was a positive response to consumer preference, as Venezuelans shifted from traditional, small pharmacies to comfortable, large stores. Value-added services, such as valet parking in some Farmatodo outlets, and convenience features, such as 24-hour opening, were well received by Venezuelans, as they are generally busy because of long working hours and severe traffic problems.
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The top eight players in 2013 were drugstores/parapharmacies, as this is the format where chains have a higher presence. Farmatodo led sales with a 32% value share in 2013 thanks to a unique store format and high consumer preference. This brand steadily gained share over the review period, mainly taking value from independents and other formats within health and beauty specialist retailers. Farmatodo operated 146 stores, with a total of 71,413 sq m at the end of 2013. Although some competitors have larger networks in outlet terms, Farmatodo was able to introduce its own innovations and thus to position itself as the obvious place to visit when needing a broad range of products. Its stores have the best locations in Venezuela and offer the widest variety of services. The chain used to show a high level of innovation in previous years but this rate decreased over the review period as the business environment became more adverse.
The channel is expected to record reasonable growth. However, constant value increases are likely to be lower than the rates seen over the review period. Under an unfavourable business environment, most brands will be cautious when investing in new stores. In addition, the penetration of health and beauty specialist retailers is already high in all cities with low potential expansion when compared to previous years.
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