How do Chinese medicine shops survive?

Chinese herbs

In this current recession, I’m bewildered by the continued existence of one particular shopping franchise – the Chinese Herbs establishments.

Wander through any shopping mall – big or small – and many suburban high streets and you’ll see them. A curiously unenticing shop, usually staffed by a fairly surly looking Oriental gentleman.

Rows of odd jars, no customers, and the prospect of…well, I don’t know what.

I know Chinese medicine is reputed to be exceptionally accurate – in ancient times, Chinese doctors were only paid when people were healthy, rather than ill, so the incentive was always to maintain wellness.

However, all this Oriental diagnosticism doesn’t get away from the fact that no-one ever seems to be in their shops. What are their margins? How many customers do they need to survive? It sure beats me.

2 thoughts on “How do Chinese medicine shops survive?”

  1. They do always seem empty huh?

    Chinese Herbology is very accurate but is highly diagnosis reliant.
    The herbal pharmacies dont get much walk-in traffic since a pro is needed to tell you what you need.

    Most of the visits are quick, with either picking up a pre-packaged prescription or herbal formula in pill form.

    Chinese herbal use actually goes up during economic hard times since a typicalformula costs around $15 for two weeks.

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