A.S. Watson launches its German brand in South Korea

Date : 28 March 2019

Rossmann, the German drugstore part owned by A.S. Watson, will begin selling products in South Korea in May, with products shipped directly from Germany.

Direct-to-market model

Rossmann plans to make “full-scale inroads into the domestic health and beauty market” of South Korea. A direct-to-market business model will be adopted, rather than stocking goods in stores. It is not clear when Rossmann will open its physical stores in the country.

The direct market plans to provide stable services to consumers by establishing a faster logistics system and organisation through a direct-market platform linked to its headquarters in Germany, while expanding the range of choices by handling healthcare and lifestyle products needed for all ages, as opposed to existing local drugstores’ focus on beauty products,” reported Korea Bizwire.

The brand’s marketing plan includes quiz events on its social media platforms until the 8th of April, and prizes including Starbucks coupons and Rossman Korea goods for winners.

Watson’s rapid international expansion

Rossmann is 40% owned by A.S. Watson. The company was established in 1972, with 2,100 stores in Germany and 3,930 stores in Europe. The reason why Watson chose its German brand to enter South Korea is because “Korean consumers were a match with the company’s meticulousness and strictness on their products, where both parties value safe, good quality products offered at reasonable prices”, according to Korea Bizwire.

A.S. Watson entered South Korea with its well-known Watson brand before. It sold its stake to convenience store retailer, GS Retail, in 2018. Since then, GS Retail rebranded all Watson stores to ‘Lalavla’. 

The Hong Kong headquartered company is expanding its international network rapidly, currently opening a new store every seven hours and just opened its 15,000th store in Malaysia in March.



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