Watsons Taiwan eyes 600 stores

Taiwan’s largest cosmetics and medicines retailer, Watson’s Personal Care Stores, has opened its 500th store.

And the chain says another 100 are planned for opening within the next two years.

The 500th store, featuring what Watsons Taiwan describes as a new generation design, opened in the Taipei suburb of Ximending.

“We have improved our store segmentation strategy to meet demand from customers in different areas,” MD Toby Anderson said during a press conference to mark the opening.

Besides expanding the Taiwan store network, Hong Kong-headquarted Watsons is refurbishing and upgarding its existing network with 100 stores revamped last year and a further 100 renovations planned for 2015.

Watsons 西門町 Media image

* Inside the new Watsons Ximending store. Image: Now News 記者彭夢竺攝.

Watsons operates cosmetics stores in 12 countries and territories in Asia and Europe but it sees Taiwan a testbed for innovation.

“Taiwan has a mature retail market with sophisticated consumer behavior, which makes it a great place for innovation,” Anderson said.

That’s why the company is trialling a new Generation Y concept store in Taiwan, with skincare and cosmetics aimed at fashion conscious younger shoppers. After the initial success of a trial store in Taiwan, two Generation Y stores are now planned for trial in Shanghai later this year.

The company is also building a strong online presence in Taiwan with 6 million registered users and more than 650,000 downloads of its mobile shopping app.

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