Drugstore retailers plan further investment in Thailand

Date : 15 May 2013
The drugstore retailers Boots and Watsons have announced plans to further invest their business in Thailand following a rise in sales last year.

Watsons store expansion following sales growth

The two speciality drugstore chains are preparing strategies in response to competition in Thailand’s health and beauty sector.

Central Watson Co, operator of Watsons speciality stores, has announced plans to earmark 350 million baht for the opening of 50 new stores and the renovation of existing stores as well as to build brand awareness and manage customer relationships. With the expansion of a further 50 stores, Watsons will have a total of 304 retail stores in Thailand by the end of the year. The retailer’s sales rose by 25 per cent last year and gained positive feedback from its customers around its online marketing campaigns. Watsons is well positioned within the Thai market and they expect the rising sales to continue this year despite the arrival of many new players within the market.

Watsons strategy also extends to plans to add more than 100 own-brand items to their range to increase the total to 257 by the end of the year following a successful 25% sales growth of own brands in 2012.

Boots new stores and revamped Botanics range

Rival drugstore retailer Boots also has plans to open 30 outlets taking its total to 257 by the end of the year.

Each of the Boots stores requires investment of 2-4 million baht according to the size of the store and plans are also in place to renovate and adjust the layout of the stores to allow the addition of new products.

Boots has also revamped its Botanic line with changes to its packaging and formula. The line, which is one of its bestsellers in the Thai market, claims to contain natural extracts from all over the world. It focuses on cosmetics, hair care hand and body treatments as well as men’s products. Thailand is the first country outside of the UK and United States in which the Botanics brand has been launched. Boots has announced that it intends to source some natural extracts in Thailand.