The Another

    Pharmacies are getting a makeover with social networks – Liberation



    business model

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    Driven by influencer videos on TikTok and YouTube and the boom in cosmetics tourism, drugstore groups are thriving on the obsession with “skincare”. A search for profit that diverts pharmacies from their mission.

    “I only come for the prices because the place is unpleasant, there are too many people…” says Cécile M., a 54-year-old air traffic controller, in the midst of looking for her face cream from the Nuxe brand. In this imposing (para)pharmacy on rue du Four, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, people are constantly jostling like in a shop on the first day of the sales. Concentration is at its maximum, basket in one hand and list of products to buy in the other.

    The tempting prices have been attracting here for more than forty years (with a change of ownership in 2004 which favored the expansion of the place) a local, national and international clientele who pass on the address, an open secret. But if it is one of the pioneers, this pharmacy, which belongs to the Citypharma group, is now only one example of a business model that continues to spread. From the heart of Paris to Marseille, via Bordeaux or Seine-Saint-Denis, far from the traditional neighborhood pharmacies, these brands benefit from an XXL commercial strike force. Pharmabest, the largest group of French pharmacies, has 114 in France, including four overseas.

    On the rise

    Encouraged since the early 2010s by the trend of Korean beauty “routines”, the proliferation of skincare products has intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic. Celebrity brands, Scandinavian and American references to colors


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