Hong Kong-based beauty retailer Watsons is expanding its footprint in the Middle East with plans to open more locations in the region.
Watsons opened its first store in Dubai Mall in the UAE in 2020 after reaching an exclusive franchise arrangement with AI-Futtaim to debut Watsons in 2020. A year later, the brand entered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Watsons added four additional locations in KSA last year, taking the store count in the Gulf Cooperation Council to 17. Currently, the brand has five outlets in KSA, 10 in the UAE, and two in Qatar.
The company expects to launch around 10 more stores in the GCC region this year, taking its regional network to 100 in the near future.
“As a Hong-Kong based international health and beauty retailer, Watsons has already expanded to 14 markets outside of Hong Kong,” said Malina Ngai, CEO of AS Watson (Asia & Europe).
“We see opportunities to bring the Watsons brand to GCC in 2020 and opened our first store in Dubai (UAE) that year despite the Covid challenge. We then entered into KSA in 2021. Customers in the Middle East like beauty and personal care products, especially our expertise in skincare.”
With a reach of US$4.64 billion last year, Watsons claims the KSA, which has a population of more than 36 million, is a fast-growing consumer market for beauty and personal care.
The company said by tapping into this potential market, Watsons is giving local clients more than 200 international brands from around the world, ranging from skincare, makeup, and haircare to personal care goods, half of which are exclusive at Watsons.
In addition, Watsons is creating an O+O shopping experience to enhance customers’ shopping convenience.
Earlier this month, Watsons opened its 1000th store in the Philippines – which is also its largest yet in the country.
Source : Inside Retail