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Chemist Warehouse shows healthy returns in China

Chemist Warehouse shows healthy returns in China article image

Australia’s biggest pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse continues to increase its market share in China’s highly competitive e-commerce environment.

The company recently announced it had extended its exclusive partnership with Tmall Global, Alibaba Group’s dedicated cross-border e-commerce site in China.

Under the new agreement, Alibaba has pledged to support Chemist Warehouse during major marketing campaigns such as the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival (Single’s Day).

It will also continue to assist the pharmacy chain to better reach Chinese consumers.

Chemist Warehouse launched in China through Tmall Global two years ago and there are now strong signs of significant growth ahead.

“The motivation to continue the relationship is so we can use Alibaba’s ecosystem to build our brand awareness in China,” said Nancy Jian, chief operating officer for the China division of Chemist Warehouse. “We work with Alibaba very closely to make sure we utilize every channel possible to engage our target customers on Tmall Global.”

Melbourne-based Chemist Warehouse operates a chain of nearly 400 retail pharmacies throughout Australia.

Outstanding success

Last year it turned over $14.4 million (RMB 100 million) in gross merchandise volume during last year’s 11.11 festival. It was also the sales leader for Tmall Global’s Black Friday sale earlier this year.

The company attributes its outstanding success to:

  • Innovative marketing in the run-up to 11.11
  • Competitive pricing and
  • A product offering that appeals strongly to health-conscious Chinese consumers

“Our strongest product category is health, like vitamin supplements,” explains Ms Jian.

The company’s maternal and baby products are also top sellers.

“More and more people in China are very conscious about health these days,” she said.

“The trend is there,” and online marketplaces such as Tmall Global are making it easier for foreign brands to sell into China, she said.

High standards

Australia has among the highest regulatory standards in the world, so Chinese consumers who can afford it all look for Australian products,” Ms Jian said.

“This is a very big reason for our success.”

Ms Jian said the company see great potential in the China market.

“Demand will only grow because people’s concern about health (in China) is getting stronger, it’s getting more widespread and that’s what we want to see.” 

Chemist Warehouse Partner and co-founder Damien Gance (left) with Alibaba Group Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand Maggie Zhou at a signing ceremony in Melbourne last week

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