Although La Botica de Velásquez, one of the oldest pharmacies in Venezuela, is still open to the public with its traditional way of serving, behind its old cedar wood counters from the end of the XNUMXth century, the country's new drugstore business models , where much more than medicines is obtained in wide corridors formed by shelves, and that began to open their doors in the nineties, until the recent opening of Redvital, they seem to have definitively changed the way in which Venezuelans buy medicines.
It is no longer just going to the pharmacy to buy blood pressure pills or the treatment prescribed by the doctor to fight a virus or disease. In these new chains of so-called self-service drugstores you can find everything from rental and sale of medical equipment, personal hygiene products, makeup, vitamin supplements, gluten-free foods to chocolates. "Pharmacy chains are the preferred channel to buy impulsives and personal care products," revealed a study on this type of pharmacy business model carried out by the Athens Consulting Group.
Also, in the research “Quality of service in traditional and self-service pharmacies: case study”, published in 2010 by the Venezuelan Management Magazine, in which the quality of service offered by pharmacies with a traditional approach (those where only medicines and drugs are sold) is compared. the client is attended by a person behind a counter) and those offered by the self-service ones (where much more is obtained than medicines and there are shelves where the client can use whatever they need) in the Maracaibo municipality, Zulia, its authors, Susie Castellanos and Pamela González found that self-service pharmacies have “overwhelmingly displaced the well-known corner pharmacies” due, among other things, to their “technological benefits” and the variety of products they offer in their stores.
However, according to the conclusions of the thesis "Study for the identification of variables that optimize the location of a retail store: Farmatodo case", presented in 2008 at the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of the School of Economics of the Andrés Bello Catholic University by thesis students Michael Penfold, Luis Pulgar and Teodoro Zubillaga (great-grandson of the founder of Farmatodo), self-service pharmacies have become the favorite of Venezuelans both because of their location - they are generally found on main streets of wealthy sectors of the city and shopping centers. with easy parking— as well as for being premises with ample spaces and having a significant number of employees.
From the oldest pharmacy in Caracas, founded in 1887 on the corner of Velásquez, by Dr. Carlos Punceles, where doctors José Gregorio Hernández and Luis Razetti ordered some of their herbal recipes to be prepared to, among others, treat ailments of the respiratory system; to the new chain of drugstores Redvital, which, according to its executive president, Emilio Miquilena, seeks to “contribute to making the quality of life of Venezuelans better and better”, Venezuelans have transformed our way of buying medicines through innovative proposals franchisable pharmaceutical business models that offer more than medicines.
Locatel It is one of the examples of these first new franchisable pharmaceutical business models in the country, despite the fact that it was not born precisely as a drug store, but as a place to rent and sell medical equipment by phone with home delivery. Hence its name, from the French Location par telephone (rental by phone). It is in 1994, fifteen years after its foundation, when it incorporates the pharmacy service in its store that opens in Boleíta Norte, with a new affiliation system, which begins to differentiate it from the rest of the already established pharmacies.
A year later, it incorporates the services of optics and clinical laboratories and introduces the concept of self-service products with free medical prescription, adding new features to its service. But it is in 1997 the year in which its self-service pharmacy model materializes, with its establishment in La Candelaria, in which it brings together all its medical equipment rental services, pharmacy, optics and laboratory, calling itself a “self-market of health ”, where its“ consumers can find all the products and services related to health and well-being ”. Two years later it becomes a franchise and continues to progressively add more services, such as vaccination, nutrition, among others.
Farmatodois another example of these successful franchisable pharmaceutical business models in the country. Their proposal has been copied by other pharmacy chains such as Farmahorro, Farmarket and Farmacias SAAS.
The constant investment in new premises and modernization of these, well located and with large spaces, as well as the offer of various non-pharmaceutical products placed on shelves available to customers (only 50% of the products they sell are medicines), and the different payment options and means of making purchases have been some of the keys to the success of this chain of stores.
The current name and concept as a self-service pharmacy chain was devised in 1985 by Teodoro Zubillaga Herrera (grandson of Rafael Zubillaga Perera, founder of the family's first pharmacy, Farmacia Lara, which opened in Carora, Lara, in 1918), and materialized in 1988.
Currently, Farmatodo operates 175 stores in Venezuela. In Colombia, the country where this pharmaceutical business model was implemented in 2008, today it has 66 stores in nine cities: Bogotá, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Valledupar, Villavicencio, Cali, Medellín and Bucaramanga. According to Forbes Colombia magazine, the company's plan is to expand in South America.
Redvital, the largest pharmacy chain in the country
In XNUMX, the year in which it is estimated that there was a growthIn the pharmaceutical sector similar to or greater than that of the first year of the Covid-XNUMX pandemic, due to the demand for drugs to treat this virus, three Redvital pharmacy chains are inaugurated in Venezuela. The stores are located in Valencia, Barquisimeto and Caracas, in part of the spaces of the Makro network of establishments located in these cities.
According to the executive president of Redvital, Emilio Miquilena, this chain of stores of articles destined for health is a project that began in 1975 with Dynamics Corporation and its subsidiaries.
A press release that reviews the inauguration of this space in Valencia, highlights that in these establishments customers have at their disposal specialized products and services to promote health and well-being, disease prevention and care, as well as for therapy and rehabilitation of different clinical conditions, through medicines, medical supplies, diverse equipment and hospital furniture.
Also, the text highlights, those who visit the store will be able to enjoy its extensive facilities and parking lots, and state-of-the-art technology at the service of consumers.
Likewise, in a statement that the executive president of Redvital made to announce the opening of this store in Barquisimeto, Lara, highlighted that the La Yaguara pharmacy is the "largest in Latin America" and that its objective is to provide customers with spaces with cutting-edge technology, comfortable and with the specialized advice that they require in the field of health, from everything that is needed for operations or treatment of diseases at all levels, to articles that call them healthy, such as sports, personal care, hygiene, makeup and food or snacks.
These spacious establishments are divided into areas for the convenience of customers. Among the areas to be highlighted are the surgical one, in which all the implements and equipment are obtained to carry out operations; physiotherapy, where they offer everything necessary for physiotherapists and treatments; and the pharmacy, which has been called the largest in Latin America due to the size of the counter.
In addition, they have an important variety of stretchers, from massage to ambulances, specialized stands for product brands, and a range of tools and implements for medical specialties such as dentistry.
In this way, Red Vital creates a new concept of stores in the country that offers its customers everything in terms of medical and health products and services in one place, with a wide range aimed at both patients and medical professionals. , as well as for people who like to take care of their body and mind, in spacious and illuminated spaces, and with several payment options for the comfort of their visitors.