Saturation has hit the mobile phone retail market, which urges FPT Digital Joint Stock Company (FPT Retail, stock code: FRT) to get a firm grasp on the pharmaceutical retail section and venture into trading products it has no experience about.
Acquisition of the Long Chau pharmacy store chain
FPT Retail dedicated the whole year of 2018 in experiments and search of a general formula for expansion of Long Chau pharmacy store chain with the number of stores in 2021 30 times as many as the current number.
Previously in the end of 2017, Ms. Nguyen Bach Diep, Chairwoman of BOD of FPT Retail, the person undertaking to borrow nearly 71bn VND from the Company to “secretly” buy 75% of stocks of 4 stores of Long Chau pharmacy chain. Throughout the experimental period, Ms. Diep informed the press this was her personal project.
At the 2019 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders held recently, Ms. Bach Diep disclosed the experimental period of Long Chau chain model in 2018 when store locations were continuously changed. Store locations moved from streets near crowded residential areas to areas around hospitals and markets, even adjacent to competitors’ stores.
There was an experimental location which made very good turnover and gained profit right in the first month.
At the acquisition, Long Chau chain had 4 stores and suffered a monthly loss of about 100mn VND each month as the medicines were near or past expiry dates. This amount has now lowered to over 10mn VND each month, while the daily turnover of the 22 store chain scores 1.6bn VND.
FPT Retail expects Long Chau chain’s loss in 2019 to be 20bn VND and a turnover of 500bn VND.
“In 2020, this pharmacy store chain will reach the breakeven and bring in 1,910bn VND in turnover. In 2021, Long Chau will make a profit of 62bn VND and the turnover of about 4,370bn VND,” Ms. Diep believed.
At the 2018 AGM, FPT Retail presented the plan to open only about 400 Long Chau pharmacy stores from then to 2022. However, after finding a general business formula, the Company announced a more ambitious plan of making a turnover of 6,500bn VND from 700 Long Chau stores and a profit of 193bn VND in 2022.
Beside medicines, Long Chau stores will also trade in medical equipment, cosmeceuticals and functional food.
Ups and downs with “the bitten apple”
FPT Retail is testing in 3 projects, one of which being the electronic appliances section. Meanwhile, this enterprise with 347bn VND of profit for 2018 is having a hard time with products under the brand name Apple.
“We estimated there was about 40% of the market of Apple products were distributed as hand-carried goods. But the ratio may have risen to above 60%. Trading of newer iPhone versions are getting gloomy and FPT Retail is requiring support from Apple and delaying opening new F.Studios,” Ms. Nguyen Bach Diep shared.
At the 2018 AGM of FRT, the plan of 12 F.Studios featuring Apple products would be expanded to 100 studios in the next 4 years, while there were only 2 new F.Studios last year.
When the time comes, the F.Studios will prove FPT Retail has strengths in high-end products. Moreover, its direct importation of iPhone, Macbook, iPad products from Singapore will cut down intermediary costs.
In compensation for the turnover of F.Studios chain, FPT Retail will concentrate its resources into the important business retail section of accessories in this year with the expectation of 1,000bn VND in turnover and nearly 500bn VND in gross profit.
According to Hong Phuc, Bao Dau Tu