(Source: Business World | 24 September 2016)
Beauty and pharmaceutical products retailer Watsons Personal Care Stores (Phils.), Inc. is expanding its branch network thru a two-pronged approach: opening more shopping mall-based and standalone stores.
“Our thrust is to open where we are more accessible in the community. So you will start seeing Watsons more within the community along a street corner, a busy market and etcetera,” said Managing director Robert U. Sun in an interview here as he announced the planned opening of the first standalone Watson shop in the city before December.
“But elsewhere in Manila, we have already a handful of them,” Mr. Sun said.
The opening of new branches, he added, depends on available opportunities in terms of location.
In Mindanao, Mr. Sun said they are eyeing to open at least 10 stores within the year, including the cities of Cotabato, Zamboanga, and Dipolog.
“We have more things to do to make ourselves accessible. We need to open more stores and faster… They cannot travel all the way from the provinces to a city,” Mr. Sun said.
“We’re opening stores in more and more key cities, especially in Mindanao. What we want to do is to be more accessible to the Visayas and Mindanao, even in Luzon,” he added.
Mr. Sun said they currently have 503 branches nationwide and targeting to increase this to 530 by the end of the year.
“But that’s just not enough because the Philippines is big,” he said.
Watsons Philippines is a joint venture of SM Prime Holdings Inc.and Hong Kong-based A.S. Watson & Co. Ltd.
– By Maya M. Padillo