HEALTH and beauty retailer Watsons Philippines is adding 100 new stores across the country this year.
Of the 100 planned new outlets, 80 percent will be community-based stores, said Raffy Lim, director for health training of Watsons Philippines.
“We want to provide accessibility because we realized that not all customers go to malls,” said Lim, during the Watsons second world of wellness symposium held in Cebu on Saturday, May 4.
A community-based store has an ideal size of 200 square meters (sq.m), 150 sq.m of which is used as a selling area.
“We will be aggressive in our store openings this year. We are now identifying potential sites for our expansion, and for sure, this will cover the Cebu area,” said Lim.
He noted that the robust developments that are spread out in the countryside are providing them opportunities to expand the store’s network.
There are 752 Watsons branches across the country to date.
Lim was in Cebu for a one-day health symposium at the SM Cebu City Trade Hall. The activity was one of Watsons’ efforts to help improve the lives of Filipinos through imparting knowledge on health and wellness.
“We were encouraged by the results of this activity in Manila last year. There were so many attendees who wanted to know more about their overall health and wellness. That’s why we brought this (activity) for the first time here in Cebu,” he said.
They plan to hold this kind of activity annually.
“We realized that our customers look up the latest trends in wellness and beauty online, and they want to know more. In the fast-paced life we live in now, people are concerned on how they are going to take care of their overall health because if they don’t prevent bad habits, it will eventually lead to lifestyle diseases,” he explained.
Watsons Philippines has partnered with different healthcare practitioners and key opinion leaders who can talk about the health trends in the market today. They also tapped international and local health brands to mount the activity.
The symposium centered on talks about flu, heart attack and diabetes.
Lim said the health and wellness segments of Watsons are growing aggressively, alongside beauty.
He said they have invested in growing their network, training their pharmacists and boosting their online materials to grow their health business segment.
Cebu records at least 70,000 Watsons members and about one million in the Philippines since the launch of the Watsons membership club last October. (KOC)