Watsons Taps into the Great Potential of Middle East by Opening 17 Stores in Two Years

Watsons Taps into the Great Potential of Middle East by Opening 17 Stores in Two Years

Watsons opened 4 new stores in the Panorama Mall, Al Hamra Mall, Nakheel Mall and The View Mall in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in 2022, adding to a total of 17 stores across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Currently, Watsons has 5 stores in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), 10 stores in United Arab Emirates (UAE), and 2 stores in Qatar. It is expected to further open over 10 new stores in the GCC region in 2023, bringing the total number of stores in the region to 100 in the near future.

According to Malina Ngai, CEO of AS Watson (Asia & Europe), “As a Hong-Kong based international health and beauty retailer, Watsons has already expanded to 14 markets outside of Hong Kong. We see opportunities to bring Watsons brand to GCC in 2020 and opened our first store in the Dubai (UAE) that year despite the COVID challenge. We then entered into KSA in 2021. Customers in Middle East like beauty and personal care products, especially our expertise in skincare.”

Limitless Potential in KSA

After reaching an exclusive franchise agreement with AI-Futtaim to launch Watsons in 2020, Watsons opened its first store at Dubai Mall in the UAE and entered KSA a year later. With a population of more than 36 million people, KSA is not only the largest country in the GCC region, but also one of the fastest growing consumer markets for beauty and personal care with a reach of USD4.64 billion in 2022.

As its beauty and personal care market is thriving, KSA shows great prospect and limitless potential thanks to its generational shift with young consumers entering the market. The growth is further supported by KSA’s 2030 Vision which is to focus on increasing the percentage of women joining the workforce. A growing female workforce has resulted in a surge in demand for skincare and makeup products, the fastest growing segment in the market.

Tapping into this exponential growth, Watsons as a beauty expert is bringing local customers more than 200 international brands from around the world, ranging from skincare, makeup, haircare to personal care products. Almost half of them are exclusive at Watsons. Coupled with state-of-art retail technologies, Watsons is creating a seamless and pleasurable O+O shopping experience so that our digitally savvy customers can shop with us anytime, anywhere.

Ngai concludes, “It’s our promise to help customers Look Good, Do Good, Feel Great so we’re constantly innovating to stay ahead of the fast-changing customer demands and expectations and offer the best-in-class O+O customer experience. We’re confident that our expertise and authority in health and beauty will help us become the most-loved brand of our customers.”

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