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Expansion Spree for Watson Group in Indonesia

Watson stores, the largest health and beauty retail group in Hong Kong, with over 12,000 stores in 25 markets worldwide serving over 28 million customers per week, is on an expansion spree in Indonesia.

The company offers various beauty products, personal care & health and general merchandise products, of which less than 10 per cent are imported.

The brand possesses more than 100 stores in Singapore and more than 400 in  Philippines, but the brand comparatively, is under-represented in Indonesia. Till date, it has only 47 stores in the country despite the fact that it is the largest economy in Southeast Asia.

To meet up the increasing demand, Watson Indonesia has plans to open up to 20 new stores this year.

In order to match Watson’s operations in the neighbouring countries, the lone franchisee of Hong Kong based personal care retail chain AS Watsons Group— Duta Intidaya, has firmly decided to go public to fund its aggressive expansion plans.

Intidaya will use about 65 per cent of the amount raised in its recent IPO to fund the new stores whereas the balance of the cash would be spent to repay bank debts.

As per the franchisee, most of the new stores will open in shopping malls, while one high street store has been planned for tourist destination Bali.

Watson aims to see the brand catching up with its rivals. The company is keen to get closer to the rivals with the increased number of stores as well as better network. Century Healthcare has more than 200 stores and rival Hong Kong chain Guardian has more than 100.

Sukarnen Suwanto, Director, Duta Intidaya said, “We are undersized and need more funds to expand. The IPO is the most apt decision at this point of time. Our aim is to build a stronger brand and this just a step towards achieving our goal.”

Intidaya intends to grow at a pace of 15 to 20 stores annually, and is aiming to go online in 2017.

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