China market – growth factor

China’s leading beauty retailers Watsons China and Gialen are planning ambitious and rapid expansion in the country. But while Watsons plans to continue its Hong Kong style, mall based retail strategy, Gialen hopes a more local, mass-market approach will help attract consumers to its stores, located in residential areas

China’s leading beauty retailers are planning an ambitious and rapid expansion in the country. Mark Godfrey reports from Beijing

It is a sign of a mature market that all social groups are offered products in a sector, with all kinds of retailers selling across a country and China is certainly maturing in this way with regard to the personal care product sector.

Major established retailers operating larger stores such as the Hong Kong based AS Watson Group are now prospering but so also are chains of smaller stores which do so at a smaller scale to lower income groups, despite selling similar products.

Watsons is now a dominant health and beauty retailer that has become a global force through aggressive expansion in southeast Asia and acquisitions in Europe. However, having gained success internationally, ceo of Watsons China Christian Nothhaft tells SPC Asia the company is concentrating on exploiting its Chinese roots.

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