Our History – text version

The Hong Kong Dispensary was founded in Hong Kong.

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

The name A.S. Watson (after Dr. Alexander Skirving Watson who joined the company as Manager in 1858) began to feature prominently with the Hong Kong Dispensary.

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

A.S. Watson set 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.

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

Erected the first factory in Hong Kong at 1-3 Stanley Street, producing six flavours of beverages.

A.S. Watson expanded overseas to the Philippines and China; established a pharmacy and a soft drink factory (1884) in Manila.

A.S. Watson became the 15th company registered on the Hong Kong Company Registry.

A.S. Watson operated 35 stores and produced about 300 dispensary, toiletry and perfumery lines.

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

To concentrate resources and energy, A.S. Watson closed all branches in China and the Philippines.

The Japanese invasion of China halted A.S. Watson’s China operations.

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

A.S. Watson resumed business on 1stSeptember.

Hutchison Whampoa Limited (forerunner of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited) acquired a controlling interest in A.S. Watson & Co., Ltd.

A.S. Watson acquired PARKnSHOP supermarkets.

Acquired Peter Pan Toy Shops. Launched Mountain Cream ice-cream products.

Hutchison Whampoa Limited (forerunner of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited) acquired A.S. Watson. At the time we had 75 stores.

Watsons expanded to Taiwan.

Watsons expanded to Macau and Singapore.

Watsons reopened in China.

FORTRESS joined the A.S. Watson Group.

Water factory opened in Beijing.

Watsons expanded to Malaysia.

Watsons expanded to Thailand.

Acquired Shanghai Sparkling Drinking Water.

FORTRESS opened its first store in Taiwan.

Watson’s Wine opened its first store.

Expanded water operations in Europe through acquisitions.

A.S. Watson sold ice-cream businesses in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong to the Unilever Group.

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

Watson’s wine business expanded into Europe with acquisition of Badaracco SA

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.

Signed agreement to sell European water operations to Nestlé Waters

Superdrug opened its first new identity store in the Bullring Birmingham in the UK

Watsons Water celebrated its 100th anniversary of purity & persistence.

Watsons opened Asia’s first third generation store

FORTRESS launched a new brand identity in Hong Kong

Acquired Drogas health & beauty retail chain in the Baltics

Watsons acquired Apex Pharmacy Sdn Bhd in Malaysia

Purchased a 40 percent stake in Rossmann Germany, adding 786 stores to the Group’s retail portfolio

TASTE launched in November

Watson’s Wine introduced a new store concept in Hong Kong

Watsons celebrated 100th store in Mainland China and 300th store in Taiwan

Entered Turkey through acquisition of Cosmo Shop

First Watsons health & beauty store opened in Korea

Acquired UK specialist perfume retailer Merchant Retail Group

Acquired Spektr in Russia in October

Opened the first Watsons in Indonesia

Watsons celebrated its 200th store in Mainland China in June

Entered Ukraine through acquisition of DC

PARKnSHOP Hong Kong launched the MoneyBack loyalty programme

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

New store concepts rolled out in respective brands across Asia and Europe

Watsons Water launched an all-in-one machine for offices

Watsons launched its loyalty programme in Asia

Watson’s Wine celebrated its 10th anniversary serving wine-lovers in Hong Kong

Participation in 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch Relay

Rossmann reached its 2,000th store milestone

Watsons opened its 500th store in China

COOL bottled water revamped its brand identity to refresh its image

Watsons membership card reached 15 million members in Asia.

Watsons China opens its 1000th store, with a charity cycling supporting education in rural China

DC Ukraine was rebranded to Watsons

ICI PARIS XL launched its first-ever store in Germany, strengthening A.S. Watson’s footprint in Europe

Watsons underwent a major rebranding exercise to modernize the customer experience

TREAT launched in Chengdu in September as a new supermarket brand in China
SU-PA-DE-PA opened in September to bring one-stop shopping experience to Hong Kong customers
Kruidvat reached its 1,000th store milestone in the Benelux
A.S. Watson Group was named a “Caring Company” for 10 consecutive years

A.S. Watson opened its 10,000th store worldwide.

A.S. Watson Group won the Silver Award in the Web Accessibility Recognition scheme

Drogas celebrated its 20th anniversary
Watsons introduced new store formats, including MUSE in Malaysia and Watsons Baby in Hong Kong
Superdrug launched its skincare & makeup collection B., ranking as a top seller in the market
PARKnSHOP Hong Kong launched its CSR programmes, covering youth, elderly, food-recycling

Watsons Water marked its 110th anniversary of purity & persistence

Hutchison Whampoa Limited (forerunner of CK Hutchison) has formed a strategic alliance with Temasek. The Singapore investment company has taken an indirect equity interest of 24.95 per cent in A.S. Watson Holdings for HKD44 billion

A.S. Watson Group opened its 12,000th store worldwide in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

A.S. Watson celebrates its 175th anniversary!

MoneyBack celebrates its 10th anniversary

A.S. Watson Group, Yonghui and Tencent announce a joint venture to create the largest grocery retailer in Guangdong
Watsons China exceeds 3,400 stores
A.S. Watson global loyalty member reaches 130 million
Watsons expands to Russia

A.S. Watson celebrates its 15,000 stores milestone

Watsons expands to United Arab Emirates, Middle East
Watsons members reach 100 million

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