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​Vietnam’s mobile phone retailer makes inroads into healthcare with pharmacy chain acquisition

Thursday, December 21, 2017, 11:50 GMT+7

The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World), one of Vietnam’s leading mobile retailers, has dipped its toe into the pharmaceuticals retail sector with the acquisition of a local drug store chain.

Rumor that The Gioi Di Dong would start selling medicines surfaced on social media earlier this week, after a Facebook user posted a photo showing an under-construction pharmacy with the company’s logo.

The Gioi Di Dong CEO Tran Kinh Doanh confirmed to tech website ICTNews on Monday that the company had acquired the Phuc An Khang pharmacy chain.

The firm is rebuilding the brand under the new name of An Khang, Doanh added.

Phuc Anh Khang was founded in May 2006, and had 14 pharmacies in Ho Chi Minh City when it was acquired.

The move to expand into the drug retail sector came two months after The Gioi Di Dong acquired Tran Anh, a popular electronics chain in northern Vietnam with 39 outlets.

The Gioi Di Dong will maintain the Tran Anh brand for a couple of years before a possible rebranding drive.

The company’s shareholders voted in mid-2017 to spend VND2.5 trillion (US$110.13 million) on the two acquisitions.

A The Gioi Di Dong store is seen in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A The Gioi Di Dong store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Founded in 2004, The Gioi Di Dong started as a small company with three mobile phone and electronics stores, before inaugurating its first major outlet in 2014, and has since developed into a network of 1,100 locations across Vietnam, according to the company’s website.

In 2010, the firm separated its electronics business into a new entity, called dienmay.com, and renamed it Dien May Xanh (Blue Electronics) in May 2015. The chain now has more than 400 outlets countrywide.

A Dien May Xanh outlet is seen in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A Dien May Xanh outlet in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

In early 2017, The Gioi Di Dong continued to gain a foothold in a brand new sector – groceries – with its Bach Hoa Xanh fresh food chain.

A search on the company’s website at the time of writing showed that it had opened 273 Bach Hoa Xanh (Green Department Store) venues in District 12, District 8, Tan Phu District, Binh Tan District, Binh Chanh District, and Go Vap District.

In July, the firm announced plans to operate 350 stores by the end of this year.

A Bach Hoa Xanh outlet is seen in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A Bach Hoa Xanh outlet in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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