A new Japanese drugstore, Welcia-BHG, offers brands previously not available in Singapore.
It is a JV between Japanese pharmacy and drugstore chain Welcia and BHG Holdings, a department store chain that has seven outlets in Singapore.
On level one of the BHG department store in Bugis Junction, the 2700sqft (250sqm) store has two zones, health and beauty, and offers more than 7000 products. There is also a pharmacy.
Of the roughly 700 Japanese products offered, 100 are new to Singapore. They include Kanebo’s cult skincare line Suisai, Q&P Kowa Gold vitamin
s, Vantelin topical analgesics, Vegie slimming products and nailcare serum Dr Nail.
More products will be added over time, says Welcia-BHG MD Tadahisa Matsumoto, including over-the-counter Japanese drugs.
Japan has 1695 Welcia stores averaging 8000sqft, some of which are open 24 hours.
Matsumoto says Singapore consumers will particularly appreciate the store’s skincare offerings formulated for Asian skin as well as sensitive skin. “Like Japan, Singapore is experiencing an ageing population, so healthcare needs are growing,” he says.
The store also offers services such as simple health checks, skin analysis and product recommendations. The sales staff will receive regular training by experts from Japan instead of representatives from individual brands.
Plans are also in place for a second outlet at Northpoint City mall. “We hope to have about 20 stores in Singapore in five years,” says Matsumoto, who sees Singapore as the main starting point for expanding the concept into Southeast Asia.