Hong Kong-based beauty and health care retailer Watsons announced plans to double its store network on the mainland, taking the number to 160 within a year. A subsidiary of Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa group, Watsons first began operating in China in 1989, and has since opened stores in 28 cities. The retailer said it would invest an average of US$181,000 in each of its new stores, three of which will be ï¿½mega-storesï¿½ of more than 1,000 square meters. Watsons announcement followed news that Hong Kong rival chain Mannings had won the rights to begin operations of it own wholly-owned stores in the mainland. Mannings said it plans to open around 30 stores in Guangdong Province in two to three years, expanding across the country when the time was right.
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