Key Milestones

From the humble beginning as a local dispensary to the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, A.S. Watson Group has been putting a smile on our customers’ faces since 1841.

As one of the longest-standing retailers, A.S. Watson witnessed changes in retail over the past 180 years, but what remains unchanged is the spirit of putting customers right at the centre of our business, and the love to everyone we touch.

This spirit is deeply rooted in our culture and you are invited to take a journey through our history.

Read more about Our 180 Years of Love.

 

Text version

1841

1841

Noble_08_sepia-copy-smaller

Hong Kong is opened as a free port.

AlexandraHseA1

The Hong Kong Dispensary is founded in Hong Kong.

1858

Alexander Skirving Watson, a British pharmacist, joins the company as Manager.

1869

1869

Hong Kong Dispensary is appointed the chemist of the Hong Kong Governor and the Duke of Edinburgh.

1870s

Dr Sun Yat–sen

A.S. Watson sets up scholarship to support local medical school. Dr Sun Yat–sen, the renowned politician and revolutionist in China, is also one of the beneficiaries under the scholarship scheme.

1871

1871

The Hong Kong Dispensary begins trading under the name A.S. Watson & Company.

1886

ASWCo---CI-1

A.S. Watson becomes the fifteenth company registered on Hong Kong Company Registry


1900

1903

Watsons-Water-Established

Watsons Water is established to provide pure water in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

1941

Celebration of centenary in 1941

A.S. Watson celebrates its centenary just before the Japanese force attack on 13th December.

Japanese-Occupation

Hong Kong is occupied by Japan on 25 December 1941, starting the “3 years 8 months” Japanese occupation era.

1972

Cross-Harbour-Tunnel

The Cross-Harbour Tunnel, the first underwater tunnel in HK, is opened.

PNS-store-in-1972

A.S. Watson establishes PARKnSHOP supermarkets.


1980

1980s-1990s

Taipei-ASW

Watsons expands to Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. It also reopens in China in 1989.

1981

Hutchison-House-2012_crop

A.S. Watson becomes a fully-owned subsidiary of Hutchison Group (forerunner of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited). At the time we have 75 stores.

1990

Fortress_ShopFront_old

FORTRESS joins the A.S. Watson Group.

1998

1998-Airport

Hong Kong International Airport opens at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau Island.


2000

2000

Savers Store

A.S. Watson enters European market by acquiring the Savers health & beauty retail chain in the UK.

2002

2002 TKO Line

The Tsueng Kwan O MTR line begins operating.

Kruidvat-Group-Logos

A.S. Watson acquires the Dutch-based Kruidvat Group, adding famous European brands into the portfolio, including health and beauty retailer Superdrug, Trekpleister, Rossmann and luxury perfumery ICI Paris XL.

Watsons Water launches its signature bottle design

2003

Watsons Water Collection Design

Watsons Water celebrates its 100

th

anniversary of purity & persistence.

2006

2006 HSI

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rises above 20,000 mark for the first time ever.

2007

PNScard

A.S. Watson launches MoneyBack loyalty programme in Hong Kong.

2008

2008-Olympic

Hong Kong hosts 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics Equestrian events.

2010

2010 HK CEE

Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination is discontinued.

Watsons Loyalty Card

Watsons membership card reaches 15 million members in Asia.

2012

2012 HKDSE

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) is held for the first time; last HK A-Level exams for school candidates.

Watsons New Store

Watsons undergoes a major rebranding exercise to modernize the customer experience.

2013

2013---10,000-Stores

A.S. Watson opens its 10,000

th

store worldwide.

Sara-Lee-Wai-sze-HK-Cyclist

Sarah Lee Wai-sze, HK racing cyclist, wins the gold medal in the women's 500m time-trial at the UCI World Track Championships, being Hong Kong’s first-ever gold woman medalist in world cycling competition.

2014

Temasek

Hutchison Whampoa Limited (forerunner of CK Hutchison) forms a strategic alliance with Temasek.

2015

Watsons 12,000th Store Opening

A.S. Watson opens its 12,000

th

store worldwide in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

2016

ASW-175-Anniversary-Shopping-Bag-Logo-English

A.S. Watson Group celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2016.

2020

ASW-175-Anniversary-Shopping-Bag-Logo-English

Watsons expands to United Arab Emirates, Middle East

ASW-175-Anniversary-Shopping-Bag-Logo-English

Watsons members reach 100 million

2021

A.S. Watson celebrates its 180th Anniversary. We will continue to work tirelessly everyday to put a smile on more customers’ faces.

Watson enters Saudi Arabia, Middle East

2022

Watsons Qatar store photo

Watsons opens its first store in Qatar, Middle East