Watson’s Personal Care Stores (Taiwan) Co Ltd (台灣屈臣氏), the nation’s largest cosmetics and drugstore operator, is set to launch an online store today, targeting two-fold growth in its sales through e-commerce.
Watson’s, which operates a total of 471 outlets in Taiwan as of the end of last year, is set to be the nation’s first cosmetics and drugstore operator to establish a direct e-commerce channel.
“We have seen great potential for the e-commerce market in the retail sector since the company made products available on Yahoo-Kimo Inc’s (雅虎奇摩) mall in 2011,” company managing director Toby Anderson told a press conference yesterday.
Watson’s has seen growing pace of sales in the e-commerce sector triple the level recorded in physical stores, Anderson said, adding that revenue from the company’s online sales through Yahoo-Kimo last year showed a 100 percent expansion from 2012.
In addition, the nation saw annual sales of cosmetics and drug products through e-commerce of NT$36 billion (US$1.19 billion) last year, Anderson said.
The drugstore operator aims at a 200 percent growth in sales over the next three years.
Watson’s plans to sell 1,000 exclusive online products and offer a bonus collection plan for its 4.3 million members to boost sales momentum in the e-commerce sector, Anderson said.
Meanwhile, Anderson said the company is scheduled to raise the number of its brick-and-mortar outlets to 500 by the end of this year, as statistics showed many people increase their purchases in physical stores after buying products online.
President Drugstore Business Corp (統一生活事業), which owns Taiwan’s second-largest drugstore chain, Cosmed (康是美), said it would not follow Watson’s lead to launch its own direct operating online store.
President Drugstore, a subsidiary of President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), already sells some of its products on its parent company’s online shopping portal, 7net, and through books.com.tw (博客來).
The firm plans to open a net total of 10 Cosmed stores this year, which would increase its total outlets to 372 by the end of this year.