Watsons China opens 3,000th store in Shanghai

By Sarah Parsons 18-Apr-2017

The Hong-Kong-based retailer owns the Superdrug chain in the UK, but is celebrating the milestone for its Watsons Asian division

A.S. Watsons in China has opened its 3,000th store in Shanghai.

The new store in Shanghai Super Brand Mall is the retailer’s latest store format, which features augmented reality features and a new electronic membership card service.

The largest health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe, A.S. Watson Group has no plans to slow down its expansion.

Dominic Lai, Group Managing Director of A.S. Watson Group, said: “I want to express my heartfelt congratulations to the Watsons China team for achieving the 3,000th store milestone.

“China has always been a strategic market to A.S. Watson Group, and we are glad to witness the rapid development of mainland China as well as the tremendous growth of our Watsons business in the market.

“The customers of Watsons China are the youngest on average among all Watsons operating markets.

“Looking ahead, A.S. Watson Group will continue to expand the reach of our retail brands in 25 operating markets to put more smiles on our customers’ faces, and we expect to reach the milestone of our 14,000th store worldwide in the fourth quarter this year.”

New store features

The Hong Kong-headquartered retailer launched Style Me and Skin Test in a bid to tap into the growing augmented reality trend.

Style Me is said to offer a virtual make-up service and provide product recommendations, while Skin Test gives skin care advice to customers by using scientific biometric data.

Boasting more than 60 million loyalty subscription members in China across its 3,000 stores in the market, Watsons will launch the electronic membership card, enabling a 24-hour service to customers.

Watsons China has also featured its mobile app, called Watsons, in the new store, which is designed to be a bridge between the retailer and customers. The Ask Me function in the app uses video conferencing to enable customers to consult beauty advisors over the app.

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The Scan Me function allows instant questions to be asked by scanning the product purchased. The app can also detect the promotions of the nearby stores, which is expected to draw footfall to physical stores and help improve sales.