Watsons invests USD 250 million in 6,000 new and upgraded stores in Asia

As part of their O+O (Offline plus Online) program, the flagship health and beauty brand of AS Watson Group is investing about USD 250 million in opening and upgrading stores across 15 markets, mostly in Asia but also in the Middle East and Europe.

In 2023, over 2,200 stores were included in the program and the company expects to have over 3,800 new and refitted O+O stores by the end of 2024.

We constantly hear from our customers about where we can improve, and we work closely with key brands to improve category-specific experience. Watsons has been at the forefront of revolutionising the in-store environment for customers, and over these two years, we are investing USD250 million in new store opening and upgrading existing stores across our 15 operating markets,” said Malina Ngai, Group CEO of AS Watson.

We are opening over 1,200 new stores in 2023-24 and investing in refitting approximately 4,800 stores in the same period. This means 75% of the store portfolio in Asia will provide a more innovative and upgraded experience for our customers,” she added.

New in-stores experiences

Recently, Watsons China has introduced Watsons Pink, where the entire interior design revolves around a pink colour theme, creating an ambiance that is particularly appealing to young customers. Additionally, spa services are offered in the stores.

Meanwhile, a designated Beauty Playground zone has been introduced in the new concept stores in Watsons China. It offers customers a new experience-led makeup space, with access to on-hand makeup artists who can offer advice and expertise, as well as the opportunity to try out different looks and play around with colour cosmetics.

Watsons Taiwan has transformed its store concept into a more aesthetically pleasing space to better fit with social media needs. The makeup zone features a lipstick-shaped makeup table and a circular pink light box on the ceiling. Additionally, Watsons offers My Colour Studio, where customers can receive seasonal colour analysis which helps them understand their skin tone, eye, and hair colour and find the perfect colour palette for their clothing, makeup, and hair.

Watsons Malaysia bets on a more funny shopping experience. In addition to a variety of experiential zones such as My Beauty, Hair Studio, and Watsons To Go, they have introduced a K-pop Land dedicated to showcasing K-beauty products. “The vibrant, colourful, and Instagrammable design of this zone attracts young customers, who can enjoy memorable moments with their friends while shopping together,” Watsons explains. Additionally, a Kid’s Wonderland has been introduced for customers shopping with their children.

Health-conscious customers

To meet the needs of the growing number of health-conscious customers, Watsons Hong Kong has redesigned its flagship store, introducing a health decoding station dubbed HealthQ. This station features pharmacists, Chinese medicine practitioners, and nutritionists who provide personalised health consultations, vaccinations, and health assessments.

Eventually, at Watsons Thailand, an enhanced health experience has been unveiled, featuring a new store design along with a diverse selection of health products.

Watsons understands that simply providing the best products is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of our customers,” Ngai further emphasised.

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