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Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido and A.S. Watson have partnered to launch an exclusive derma skincare range under the “D Program” brand.

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Shoppers can pick up their parcels from more than 300 Circle K stores at their own convenience with a new feature by DHL Express.

On-demand delivery by DHL Express

Shoppers are informed of their shipment’s progress through SMS or email on the day of delivery. They can then choose a variety of delivery options through a mobile-optimised website, including redirecting their delivery to a DHL service point or nearby convenience store. Couriers will be alerted to any changes in delivery methods in real time.

Shoppers avoid missed delivery

By adding the new feature, shoppers know the exact time when they can expect to receive their package. They can pick up their parcels at any time at a service point if they cannot be present. The partnership allows shoppers to access over 600 DHL service points.

DHL Express Hong Kong and Macau’s senior VP and MD Herbert Vongpusanachai said, “the familiarity and convenience of Circle K will help enrich the connections we have with our customers as well as ensure we stay on top of their evolving needs. With this service, we offer local consumers a hassle-free international online shopping experience whilst supporting retailers around the world to reach their customers reliably and punctually”.

 

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A.S Watson will invest HKD1bn (US$128m) on digital innovation over the next ten years as it continues to step up transformation across the business to enhance the shopping experience.

Staying ahead of competition

A.S. Watson continues to invest in technology and ecommerce. By next year, the retailer will have spent approx. HKD1bn on digital and technology since 2012. Over the next ten years, it plans to invest another HKD1bn. In recent years, A.S. Watson has invested in self-checkout machines, virtual technology make-up service, predictive modelling technology and facial recognition for payments. It has also launched a Technology Partnership Programme to build a network of strategic partners.

Investment in personalisation

Looking ahead, the retailer plans to roll out machines for skin analysis, digital panels to let customers choose products and technologies for customising product positioning in different stores. It continues to introduce new initiatives to offer greater personalisation, as well as partner technology start-ups in countries such as Canada, the U.S. and Australia to accelerate digital transformation.

In 2017 for example, A.S. Watson partnered with Toronto-based Rubikloud as part of its investment in big data capabilities. At some of its stores, the retailer has developed a traffic management system that uses big data analytics to help it choose future store locations.

A.S. Watson FY18 results: sales up 10%

Click here to see A.S. Watson’s FY18 results.

Want to know more?

Subscribers can read more on A.S. Watson's Strategic Outlook here.

A.S. Watson Group has opened its 15,000th store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

500th Watsons store in Malaysia

The world's largest health and beauty retailer continues to rapidly expand its store network, opening a new store on average once every seven hours across Asia and Europe. Earlier today, the Group opened its 15,000th store globally. This also marked the 500th Watson store in Malaysia. There are over 7,200 Watsons' stores in 13 markets in Asia and Eastern Europe.

A.S. Watson FY18 results: sales up 10%

Click here to see A.S. Watson’s FY18 results.

Want to know more?

Subscribers can read more on A.S. Watson's Strategic Outlook here.

The world's largest international health & beauty retailer has posted a strong set of annual results.

Results summary - growth across all H&B divisions

At the end of 2018, A.S. Watson’s retail division had 14,796 stores across 24 markets, a 6% increase compared to the previous year. Total sales for the Health and Beauty segment increased 10% to HKD138,987m, with comparable stores growing 2.1%. Total revenue, EBITDA and EBIT of HKD168,991m, HKD16,164m and HKD13,078m increased by 8%, 9% and 8% respectively.

H&B Asia: comparable store sales up 7.1%

  • Health and Beauty Asia results were particularly strong, with an 20% increase in EBITDA driven by a 10% increase in store numbers, but also a comparable store sales uplift of 7.1%
  • The Philippines was a key market for new store openings for the Watsons banner. Together with its joint venture partner SM Retail, they opened more than a 100 new stores

H&B China: sales up 4%

  • Health and Beauty China trading under the Watsons banner continued to perform strongly, reporting a 7% growth in EBITDA and a healthy EBITDA margin of 19%
  • Store network expansion continued, but sales did not grow in line with space, growing 4% in local currency

H&B Europe: EBITDA growth of 6%

  • Health and Beauty operations in Europe delivered another solid performance with EBITDA growth of 6%
  • H&B Western Europe accounted for 50% of total H&B sales for the retailer, but growth remains subdued
  • H&B Eastern Europe is A.S. Watson’s smallest H&B division. However, it continued to show strong growth potential, reporting an 8% increase in sales growth in local currency
  • Click here to see Rossmann’s FY18 results
  • Kruidvat, Trekpleister, Prijsmepper, Ici Paris XL and Pour Vous have posted a 3.6% increase in turnover to €2.9bn. Turnover in the Netherlands increased 3.5% to €2.2bn. In Belgium, sales amounted to €687.2m, €9.1m from Luxembourg, €2m from Germany and €3.5m from France. The number of stores increased from 1,633 to 1,675

Loyalty and exclusive sales important

A.S. Watson continued to expand its online and offline customer base. It has 132m loyalty members from around the world. The retailer continues to develop and add to its range of exclusive products - sales accounted for 34% of total H&B sales (HKD138,987m) last year.

Areas of focus

A.S. Watson has cited several macroeconomic uncertainties, including trade disputes, Brexit outcome, fluctuations in commodity and currency prices that could impact the business. In retail, it has outlined several key areas of focus:

  • Adding digital and delivery capabilities to drive offline and online integration
  • Introduce initiatives to help personalise customer experiences
  • Enhancing store formats

Want to know more?

Subscribers can read more on A.S. Watson's Strategic Outlook here.

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