Watsons Opens Over 1,400 New Stores across Asia Amidst the Pandemic

Friday June 16th, 2023

In the past three years of the pandemic, Watsons, the flagship health and beauty brand of AS Watson Group, has not slowed down its business growth. In comparison to 2019 (prior to the Covid), Watsons has opened over 1,400 new stores throughout Asia.

Officiating at the Watsons new store opening event in Kuala Lumpur, Dominic Lai, Group Managing Director of AS Watson Group, thanked business partners, customers and employees for their unfailing support and loyalty. “The pandemic has been very challenging for us and retailers around the world. The passion and dedication in our 130,000 employees around the world to continue to care for our customers made a difference to enable us weather the storm and transform the crisis into opportunities.”

“AS Watson didn’t stop our network expansion during challenging times because we have a solid O+O strategy which is relevant to customers’ needs. We continue to identify strategic locations across Asia and opened over 1,400 new stores in the last three years.”

“Today, we are delighted to announce the opening of Watsons’ 700th store in Malaysia, one of our fastest growing markets in Asia. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Watsons Malaysia has grown from 535 stores in 2019 to 700 stores now. Loyalty members have also risen from 5.7 million in 2019 to 7.2 million members to date, signaling 1.5 million new members in a short period of time. So far this year, Watsons Malaysia also experienced high double-digit sales growth, continuing to be the market leader.”

Watsons Malaysia Reaches 700th Store Milestone
Watsons Malaysia marks a significant achievement in its expansion journey by celebrating the opening of its 700th store at the KSL Esplanade Mall today. It is the largest Watsons store in the prime district of Klang, spanning over 4,000 square feet. The new store promises to better serve the needs of the royal town with a population of over 1 million.

To enhance the O+O shopping experience, the new store offers innovative services such as StyleMe, an augmented reality-powered virtual makeup try-on equipment, a W table for experiential testing for new and exclusive products, while professional makeup artists will be available to provide customers with personalised recommendations.

This is the first store with a dedicated haircare pillar focusing on premium exclusive hair ranges and scalp care from Korea, Japan and the US. A top-of-the-range pharmacy will have pharmacists and healthcare professionals ready to give free health screenings, such as blood pressure, BMI and glucose, while a dedicated new bay will allow customers to explore the latest beauty supplement trends. There are also a special display showcasing new and exclusive K-Beauty products, an e-stamp corner for customers to shop, collect and redeem exclusive items online, as well as self-checkout counters for a faster and more convenient way to purchase their products. Watsons Elite members will also benefit from a dedicated lane for a seamless checkout experience.

Very importantly, Watsons is committed to promoting sustainability and has introduced several sustainability initiatives in its new store, including the Sustainable Choices refill station for Natural by Watsons which encourages customers to refill their used bottles, resulting in an 80% savings in plastic. Additionally, there is a recycling bin where customers can get a RM5 Watsons voucher for every recyclable bottle returned, showing Watsons’ commitment to the environment.

Lai concluded, “Watsons has recently been recognised as the No. 1 Personal Care & Beauty Retailer and ranked 6th in Campaign Asia’s Top 50 Brands for Customer Experience survey. As the leading health & beauty retailer, Watsons will continue to innovate and adapt to meet customers’ evolving needs and strive for excellence in providing unparalleled O+O customer experience. With a deep sense of purpose and a steadfast commitment to help customers Look Good, Do Good, Feel Great, we will continue on this growth journey with our customers and together, create a better future for all.”