(Kuala Lumpur, 26 March 2019) The world’s largest and fastest growing international health & beauty retailer A.S. Watson Group celebrates an important milestone today as it opens its 15,000th store. The launch also marks a landmark step for Watsons in Malaysia with its 500th store in the country. Located at Central i-City in Malaysia, Watson’s new store incorporates an innovative and sustainable design based on the latest premium concept that blends environmentally-friendly materials and innovative technologies to promote digital customer engagements.
Growth Continues at Record Rate
For the fourth year in a row, A.S. Watson’s new store opening continues to be at an average speed of one store every seven hours across its 25 markets in Asia and Europe.
The worldwide 15,000th store opening of A.S. Watson coincides with its 500th store opening of Watsons in Malaysia, one of the fastest growing countries for beauty and wellness products. Watsons is the flagship retail brand of A.S. Watson with over 7,200 stores in 13 markets in Asia and Eastern Europe.
The new store is located in Central i-City, a new shopping mall in Malaysia, and it uses technology to enhance customer experience and connect offline and online. The 4,200 square-feet G8 design store is equipped with StyleMe, AR (Augmented Reality) technology, to showcase the latest fashionable product, in a fun and engaging way
for customers. Watsons’ Hi Mirror skin analysis device is also available for customers to assess their skin conditions at the store. G8 represents the 8th Generation of the Watsons store design incorporating extensive customer and store team feedback, as well as market research of latest trends on shopping experience. It will roll out across the region in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Turkey later this year. Watsons Malaysia
has already rolled out its Self-Check Out and Click & Collect services in the new store – the latest Click & Collect Express services enable online shoppers to collect their purchases within just four hours at the store. This gives a more convenient experience to our customers where they can skip the long queues in the payment process and have
a more efficient alternative of paying quickly with electronic payment. With the trend of digitalisation, the launch of the Watsons digital membership card enables our customers to carry the card on their phone, making it easier for members to earn points right away and keep track of their account and transaction anytime, anywhere. While social media platforms and mobile apps have become the key channels to engage with our customers.
O+O Strategy - Strengthening Customer Connectivity Online and Offline
Mr Dominic Lai, Group Managing Director of A.S. Watson Group is very excited at the celebration event of this important milestone, “The continued success of our business is about customer connectivity – our ability to connect customers with products, trends and experience they want in beauty, personal care, health and wellness. Our O+O
(Online and Offline) strategy focuses on providing an extensive store network, excellent in-store customer service, most relevant health and beauty assortment, combined with seamless digital experience and loyalty schemes that help to put smiles on customers’ faces.”
Globally A.S. Watson has over 135 million loyalty members and has been investing HK$1 billion (approx.US$128 million) in digital since 2012 to enhance customer experience and enable the business to build data-driven approach to stay closer to customers’ needs.
A Thankful Celebration
Mr Lai continues, “We are one of the longest standing companies in the world with 178 years of history. To be able to reach yet another critical milestone, this is only possible with the love from our customers, passion and commitment from our 140,000 colleagues around the world, and the unfailing support from our business partners.”
From one dispensary in Hong Kong to 15,000 stores worldwide, A.S. Watson has built close relationship with customers and a strong team of 140,000 colleagues. The celebration activities in every market will be about thanking customers and showing appreciation to colleagues. There will be campaigns in every market to celebrate, including member-exclusive benefits and special offers, both offline and online.
The vibrant launch of Watsons’ newest store saw some 300 guests in attendance. From the shopping aisle to the catwalk, the launch showcased the Watsons Fashion Aisle concept to highlight Watsons as a lifestyle brand that struts its way into the lives of Malaysians. This included opening performance featuring the ‘Colours of Malaysia’ that comprised a Muhibbah Dance accompanied by different cultural music that celebrated Malaysia’s rich diversity. This
was followed by a video presentation of a Watsons’ new store in Central i-City, before ending with a fashion showcase of a Special Edition T-Shirt by Watsons Celebrity Friends commemorating A.S. Watsons’ 15,000th Store.
Supporting the runway fashion show were international supermodel Amber Chia, popular Malay band, Elite Group, Asia’s Next Top Model finalist, Rubini Sambathan, with other hosts of local celebrities such as John Tan, Fiqrie Dahari, Thanuja Ananthan, Anuja Ananthan, and Vivienne Oon.
Caryn Loh, Managing Director of Watsons Malaysia says, “Since 1994, we opened our first Watsons Malaysia store in Johor. Within 25 years, we have grown to 500 stores and with more than five million members in Malaysia. Customers today are demanding shopping experiences that are both convenient and hassle-free. We aim to
reinforce our position as Malaysia’s leading health and beauty retailer by not only offering a diverse array of products, but to also help our customers with a seamless, unmatched shopping experience at our stores.”
Watsons Malaysia will be running a special nationwide promotion. The lucky 15,000th Watsons member to make a purchase at any Watsons store and online store in Malaysia will win a trip to Hong Kong for two. Additionally, members will get extra 5% off storewide and 500 points with purchase of RM50 and above on 26 March 2019.