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A.S. Watson to open 1,300 new stores next year

Published 13 June 2018

Hong Kong-based health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson has unveiled its plans to open 1,300 new stores across the world next year.

The latest move is part of the company’s strategy on store openings, customer service and digital transformation. Currently, A.S. Watson operates more than 14,300 stores across 24 markets.

The company stated that its digital transformation started back in 2010, when the retailer launched its first A.S. Watson customer strategy.

The strategy showed that businesses must be more customer centric, by the use of analytics, surveys, digital analysis and social listening to stay close to customers and to act on their views and feedback.

 “Eight years after the launch of the first customer strategy the group now has over 130 million members in its loyalty programme globally, and with a recorded revenue increase of six per cent in its core health and beauty business, the plan is showing dividends,” the Hong Kong-based retailer said.

A.S. Watson group COO Malina Ngai said: "Digital transformation in organisations so often focuses on technology investment and new digital applications, and ignores the human touch.

"When 70% of your colleagues are Generation Y and Z it's vital to talk to them in the right way, to enable them to service today's customers."

Ngai added: “Growth in terms of store numbers is just part of the picture, we are well aware that offering the best customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction is key to our continued success.

“The way that our customers shop is continually changing and we know how important it is to keep at the forefront of changing trends and innovation by the effective use of big data.”

Last year, the company announced plans to invest $70m in building big data capabilities to enhance customers’ experience and business efficiencies. As part of its plans, the company has entered into a partnership with Rubikloud, a Toronto-based firm that specialises in software platforms for retailers.

Image: A.S. Watson Group currently has over 14,300 stores in 24 operating markets. Photo: Courtesy of A.S. Watson Group.