06 August 2007

Poll: Mercury or New South Star?

SATURDAY evening, I found myself at the New South Star Drug branch at the corner of Juan Miranda and Panganiban, sitting by my scooter and waiting for Lynn buy some pasalubong for the kids at the Lucky 9 convenience store. It's my favorite NSSD branch owing to its promixity to City Hall.

The branch is undergoing a facelift, with the NSSD colors now dominating the front and side signages whereas before, Lucky 9 had half of the front. The reason is obvious: just across the street, a Mercury Drug branch is just about ready to open shop, a veritable dagger strike at the heart of its newest stiff competitor.

For NSSD, whose slow rise to prominence was recently featured in the Inquirer, traces its roots to Naga City, even antedating its bigger rival which, according to Wikipedia, came into existence only towards the end of the Second World War.

What would be more strategic than go for the jugular and bring the fight right where one's rival is based? This explains why we are seeing, and will probably see more of, this tit-for-tat. For instance, an NSSD branch is the anchor tenant of the new commercial building owned by the Cabral family that is rising at the corner of Magsaysay and Peñafrancia. It is obviously in response to the Mercury outlet doing brisk business at Avenue Square.

So, for the week, why don't you indulge me by answering this little survey, which will run for the next seven days: Which drug store do you prefer, Mercury or New South Star? Again, the usual caveat that it is unscientific by its very nature. But it should be fun and enlightening, just like the last one whose final results is still available for view at the bottom of my right sidebar.

This stiff tiff however made me think: if I were NSSD, what would be my next best response? I'll probably do 24-7 door-to-door drug deliveries, similar to what fast foods do, which is what Mercury pioneered in 1948. For a small city whose farthest end is only 30 minutes away, I say this is doable.

What do you think?

9 comments:

Nicky said...

I'd vote NSSD. I find faster service delivery and it's "Home Grown".

Aside from "South Star", a forgotten callsign. Over and out.

Maryanne Moll said...

I am not sure of the relevance of my vote (Mercury) because I live in Manila and I prefer Mercury even here.

In my street in Makati, a new NSSD has opened a few months ago just three doors away from the 24-hour Mercury. Remembering that NSSD has its origins in Naga, I went in once to buy a packet of the ubiquitous Flanax Forte (a staple of people who are regularly kunsumido by one thing or another).

But aside from that moment, I never bought from NSSD again. For once, I do not know why.

So I voted Mercury.

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Nicky Boy: You still remember my call sign when Globe and Smart were still pricey, their pre-GSM technology are prone to hacking, and VHF radios ruled the airwaves?

Kind of forgotten that when I wrote the post, but now I remember.

Maryanne: I use the good ol' aceite de manzanilla in lieu of Flanax, a hand-me-down technology courtesy of my mother and departed grandma.:)

Maryanne Moll said...

Oh, I remember Cortal! I even remember the poster. It was displayed on one of the doors of Querubin's Drug Store in Tigaon when I was a child and Cortal still existed.

Hay, memories.

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

You mean to say Cortal is no longer in circulation?!?

It's been ages since I took one, primarily because my mother opts for Neozep (colds), Gardan (still around, for pain relief), and Biogesic (for kalintura).

Maryanne Moll said...

I am pretty sure it's been discontinued some time ago.

My own favorite for migraine used to be Bextra, until it was discontinued two years ago and I was prescribed Flanax Forte. Bextra is awesome, but because of its potency, one is supposed to take it only at the super-duper strong attacks, and its effect lasts for days, and ten minutes after taking it, I could actually feel the pain going away immediately. How's that for relief!

But yikes, it has been discontinued for some reason.

Anonymous said...

I'd vote for South Star Drug. Most of Mercury's clerk are masungit and ang tagal ng service. And i give SSD a credit na they can fight merccury.

KUDOS to SSD!

Anonymous said...

I choose SSD, why? For a lot of reasons: 1. Mercury does not protect their own franchisees... 2. and bcoz of that, i could say that Mercury only thinks of itself more than anything else... 3. it seems that South Star Drug sells cheaper medicines and 4. lastly, but not the least, the salepersons are not masungit!

So let's support SSD to Kill Mercury's monopoly of the industry, d ba?

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