Watsons to strengthen leadership in Thailand’s health and beauty retail market

Bangkok – Watsons, the number one health & beauty retailer in Thailand with the highest sales for the past six consecutive years, has provided an overview of its performance in 2010 and outlined its strategies for maintaining market leadership in 2011.

Speaking at a press conference today, Mr Toby Anderson, Managing Director Central Watson Co., Ltd. said, “Our performance in 2010 was exceptionally encouraging.  We reached, and often exceeded goals on many fronts while maintaining our leadership in Thailand with a sales growth of 12.1 per cent for skincare products, and 8.9 per cent for cosmetic products, according to Nielsen research.  Store opening was also an indicator of our achievement. In 2010 we successfully opened 24 new stores nationwide.
“As we look ahead in 2011 we are very much on track to maintain our leadership in Thailand. We will continue our 210 million baht investment programme to expand and refurbish stores nationwide. In fact, by the end of this year we expect to open more than 30 stores across the country,” said Mr Anderson.

watson Thailand

watson Thailand

“Another area of success in 2010 has been in Watsons’ own brand products being introduced to the market. It is also the year in which we tapped into new product categories such as derma skincare for ‘Watsons DermAction Plus’, and health supplement pills for ‘Watsons Vitamin’ as part of Watsons’ own brand products which recorded a 20 % sales growth. The performance of the H-Bella skincare range introduced in April of last year exceeded our expectations with its launch seen as a key achievement for Watsons in the premium mass market.

“Since its launch in 2009, ‘Watsons Membership Card’ has played an important role in driving Watsons’ business growth.  In 2010, we achieved our goal of a hundred per cent increase in membership (from 300,000 in 2009 to 600,000 members in 2010) and plan to garner over 850,000 members within 2011,” said Mr Anderson.
Continuing his overview of Watsons’ achievements in 2010, the Managing Director pointed to the success of the “Make a New You”, a customer engagement programme that brings Watsons closer to the customer, and presented in four regions across the country and generating excellent feedback. Deeper understanding of customer needs was also made possible by information from regular Watsons research as well membership cards which together allowed Watsons to tailor its products and services.  This has also been seen in the ‘Health & Beauty Specialist’ initiative which provides customers with up to date and independent beauty and healthcare advice.

“It’s perhaps not surprising that with our strong overall performance in 2010, that Watsons was recognised as a Superbrand for the second consecutive year.  Those impressive achievements have of course spurred us to do even better for 2011, a year in which we will continue to forge ahead, building on our current success with innovations, new products and new initiatives,” said Mr Anderson.

He continued, “Over the past several years, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been seen as an essential part of every business enterprise.  To Watsons it has long been much more than a set of initials – we have previously worked for example, with the Association of the Promotion of Status of Women and in 2011, inspired by a new ‘Live Beautifully’ campaign, we will work to raise fund to support the Thai Red Cross Society, Thailand Environment Institute, and the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women.

“This year-long effort will involve using the talents of three top celebrities who will be on hand at key Watsons stores to inspire a spirit of giving among our customers to raise funds.  We expect this practical example of Watsons’ style CSR to enjoy the same level of success we aim for in our business goals,”
“In everything we do we aim to bring more to life, more value, choice, quality, service, reward, return, style, inspiration, opportunities, sustainability and learning.  As a result, we enhance the lives of everyone we touch.” concludes Mr Anderson.

About Watsons Thailand
Watsons, the No.1 health and beauty retailer in Asia and Thailand with the highest sales for six consecutive years, was launched in Thailand in 1996 with the first store located at the Maneeya Center building. Watsons is the country’s leading health and beauty store currently over 180 stores offering products from consumer goods to health and beauty products. Watsons continually aims to offer top quality products combined with value for money as well as providing high-standard service to every customer. Watsons has been awarded Superbrands Status for the 2nd year by the Thailand Superbrands Council for the brand’s strong brand quality, affinity, and leadership in the industry. Watsons is a subsidiary of the A.S. Watson Group, the world’s largest health and beauty retailer with over 9,300 stores in 33 markets.

About Watsons Your Personal Store
Watsons Your Personal Store is a leading chain of health and beauty stores and pharmacies operating across Europe and Asia. The network includes more than 2,200 stores and over 900 pharmacies in 12 markets, including China (Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and most recently in Ukraine. In both 2009 and 2010, Watsons was No. 1 in the “Retail – Pharmacy/Drugstore” category in Asia’s Top 1,000 Brands, published by Media magazine based on customer surveys by independent researcher TNS*.

*Media/TNS Asia’s Top 1,000 Brands Survey 2010 of over 3,000 Asian respondents

About A.S. Watson Group
Around the world, 25 million customers a week enjoy shopping at A.S. Watson Group’s retail stores across its 33 markets. The Group has one of the world’s largest portfolio of retail formats, retail brands and geographical presence. Proudly supported by a global family of 98,000 staff, the Group is also a member of the world renowned Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited, which has major interests in ports and related services; property and hotels; retail; energy, infrastructure, investments and others; and telecommunications in 53 countries.

A.S. Watson Group is …
• the world’s leading international health, beauty & lifestyle retailer with over 9,300 stores in 33 markets worldwide, and is one of the top three market leaders in 25 of them
• the leading health & beauty retailer in Asia, with Watsons Your Personal Store currently operating over 2,200 stores and more than 900 pharmacies in 12 Asian and European markets, including China (Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau), Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and Ukraine
• Europe’s leading luxury perfumeries & cosmetics retailer, with over 1,600 stores in 16 markets among which 10 holding market leader position, under three retail chains, including Marionnaud; ICI Paris XL in the Benelux; and The Perfume Shop in the UK

Please visit www.aswatson.com for more in-depth information about A.S. Watson Group and its brands.

Press Release Issued By:
Sornsopin Puttachartsaewee / Tawn Chatchavalvong
Hill & Knowlton Thailand
Tel. 0-2627-3501 ext. 101 or 118
Fax. 0-2627-3510
Email: wputtachartsaewee@th.hillandknowlton.com
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