With a new franchised outlet opened in Huadu, Guangzhou, Watsons now has 200 stores in China.
Ivor Morton, general manager of Watsons, says his company has added up to 40 professional managers this year to be responsible for choosing sites for new stores. He said that the new stores will mainly be opened in newly-built residential areas.
Watsons plans to make its store number reach 280 by the end of this year and 1000 by 2010, which means that it has to open a new store every four days. It also plans to locate most of the new stores in the second and third tier cities in China.
Watsons is the largest health and beauty retail chain in Asia operating over 980 stores and 729 pharmacies in 10 markets – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea and Turkey.
In Hong Kong, Watsons currently has 170 stores and 2000 employees. It is Hong Kong's largest pharmacy chain with 50 pharmacies and a health team of 51 pharmacists and over 125 professionally trained health and fitness advisors.