Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China

Watsons To Open High-end Supermarket in Chengdu

Watsons, the health and beauty retail chain under Hutchison Whampoa, will open its first high-end food supermarket named Great in mainland China.

Located in Chengdu International Finance Square, Watsons' new Great supermarket has an area about 3,000 square meters and focuses on the sale of imported ingredients and cooked food. The new supermarket adopts a differentiated operating model and some products sold in this supermarket will not be found in other retail sites of Watsons. The major competitor of Watsons' Great supermarket is the organic food supermarket ThreeSixty, which belongs to Dairy Farm.

Founded in September 2000, Great's target customers are high income consumers in China's workers' paradise. Prior to this, the company only had one outlet located in Pacific Place, Hong Kong. After running the first store for 13 years, Watsons decided to open this new one in Chengdu, provincial capital of Sichuan province.

According to the Chengdu Retail Industry Development Report for 2012, the city realized total retail sales of consumer goods of CNY331.77 billion in 2012, representing a year-on-year increase of 16% and the growth rate ranked first among sub-provincial cities in China. The report also revealed that the introduction rate of international well-known brands in Chengdu reached 79%, also ranking first among Chinese sub-provincial cities.

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