Ignacio Merino
Director General
Farmacia París
/
View from the Top

‘City of Health’ Coming to Mexico City

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 12/16/2021 - 16:36

Q:  How did Farmacia Paris remain competitive despite the closures resulting from the pandemic?

A: The main factor is the brand’s prestige, which truly resulted in very positive support from our clients and from the commercial partners we’ve had for years. That close relationship, borne out of working with a great deal of transparency and honesty, meant that they understood when we told them that this was our situation.

Q:  In 2020, you discussed your plans for an e-commerce platform. How is this project unfolding?

A: We did not open the page on that project for the same reasons; the moment was too complex given he pandemic. Sending products to the whole city would have been very expensive, which would have also undermined Farmacia Paris’s goal and reputation to always offer better prices. For anyone receiving that product, it would have been better to buy it at the closest pharmacy. We have plans to return to the project, however. We already have a catalog of 1,500 products, which is what we are going to start with. We have the website ready, we have created the catalog and we hope to launch it next year. Nevertheless, it will be a gradual undertaking because Paris’ overall catalog has more than 35,000 products.

Q:  You have also said that the industry is moving toward a customer-experience model. How is Farmacia Paris responding to this trend?

A: In terms of discount cards, the pandemic stopped the whole process and the trend has changed a great deal. I think that the tendency of cards will no longer be attractive in the market. It is now more about reaching the client in a different way, with a different value proposal, which is what we are working on.

Q:  Which significant alliances, other than Devlyn and LMP, has Farmacias Paris consolidated?

A: Dentalia is one of our clients. We have four clinics that are already operating inside the installations of the pharmacy and we are trying to diversify the business. We are working to create what is called the “City of Health.” It is a building where we already have Devlyn, Dentalia and LMP and we are looking at clinics that specialize in orthopedics and treatments for tobacco and alcohol addictions. For me, the most important area, which I believe will be very strong in the next couple of years, is psychology. The pandemic changed many things in people. There are families where only one person survived or parents who lost children. It is extremely sad. As a result, there is a need for specialized support.

We need to start building that City of Health to offer something different. There is also a space for restaurants serving traditional Mexican food. I think all of this will happen next year. We are looking at strategic alliances with other companies that offer health services so that this can be a one-stop shop, offering everything from the selling of products to health services.

Q:  How are you promoting the City of Health for suppliers and the general public?

A: We generally promote it through our social media accounts. We have a team that has done an extraordinary job. We may not have that many followers yet but we are seeing great engagement, in terms of likes, for instance. It is important to make sure you are reaching the public through a medium they are truly interested in.

Q:  How will you continue to expand Farmacia Paris, not only in the city but also beyond its borders?

A: Some of it must be local but not necessarily having to open 100 pharmacies in Mexico City. I think with a minor number and with a good strategy, you can reach everyone. We are thinking of expanding more toward Veracruz, Oaxaca, because many of the residents there come to the city to look for homeopathic products. In terms of ethical medicine, the market is already very competitive and they have done it very well. We want to focus on our strengths and not offer the same thing everyone else is.

 

Farmacia París has earned its reputation from selling brand name, quality products at the best price. Since 1944, its catalog has offered a wide range of products and services. Some of its divisions are pharmaceutics, homeopathy, compound formulas, orthopedics, surgical equipment, diabetes and dermatology.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst