WITH the country’s economy continuing to display growth, major health and beauty chain Watsons expressed confidence it can achieve its growth target of 15 percent to 20 percent this year.
“We believe Watsons can continue to post within that range, which is actually bigger than the 5-percent growth posted by the pharmacy’s industry,” said Danilo Chiong, health director of Watsons Trading, in a media interview on March 31 in Makati City.
The country’s GDP posted a 7.1-percent growth in the third quarter of 2016, better than the 6 percent in the same period the previous year.
Chiong said Watsons will build more stores and pharmacies in 2017, in response to the growing health needs of Filipinos.
“For this year, Watsons will establish more stories outside Metro Manila,” Chiong said. However, he declined to give a figure on how many stores Watsons will open in 2017.
At present, Watsons has 4,800 stores and more than 1,400 pharmacists. As part of broadening its reach in the local market, Chiong said Watsons plans to become a vaccination center in the country.
“We also want to develop Watsons into a leading vaccination center in the country by offering vaccines on hepatitis, cervical cancer, dengue, pneumonia and later tetanus and rabies throughout the year,” Chiong said. “Our dream is to provide all Watsons stores with the vaccines needed by the customers, so they can be vaccinated at once.” Watsons is the first retailer to offer this service in the Philippine market.
“As part of our commitment to improve the lives and health of Filipinos by making health care more accessible to them, we decided to offer dengue vaccination in our select stores nationwide. Dengue is a recurring epidemic in the country. That’s why we recognize the importance of protecting Filipinos against this deadly disease through the vaccination,” he said.
Watsons Philippines is a joint venture of SM Prime Holdings Inc. and AS Watson and Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong.