Retail in Asia

In Shops

Watson group planning new shops

The A.S. Watson Group plans to open 1,400 new outlets globally this year – 60 shops will be in Hong Kong – but it will not expand the electricity group Fortress, says chief operating officer Malina Ngai Man-lin.

The group doesn’t have a plan for an initial public offering for the moment, Ngai added.

Watson plans to invest HK$500 million in the next three years to improve its technology platform as well as enhance big data analysis.

Managing director Dominic Ngai Kai-ming said MoneyBack, a member reward program under the Watson Group, has been rebranded with a new mobile app, which allows member to manage their accounts more conveniently.

SEE ALSO: Watsons plans major push in Thailand ahead of AEC

The scheme has rewarded points with a value equivalent to HK$800 million to their members since the establishment in 2007.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong retail sales growth turned positive in May, up 1.8 percent year-on-year, said a Mastercard report.

SEE ALSO: Singapore’s Temasek to acquire stake in AS Watson for USD5.7b

The increase in grocery sales and the health and beauty sector were the strongest. Groceries were up 2.3 percent and health 5 percent, driven mainly by domestic consumption.

Jewelry sales fell 44 percent in May, which was below the 2013 level. “Discretionary sectors historically driven by tourist spending continue to be a drag, despite stabilization and some recovery in visitor arrivals in recent months,” the group said.

(Source: The Standart)