Hutch/ StarTV promoter plans to foray in health and beauty retail biz

Li_ka_shingHongkong based, Li Ka Shing owned, Hutchison Whampoa group has struck gold in India.

Almost, every Indian consumer is either aware or has experienced the power of Star TV and Hutch brands, both of which have originally belonged to the Hutchison Whampoa Group. While the Star TV brand was earlier sold to the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the Hutch brand is in the process of being sold to one of the telecom majors in the world.

How can Li Ka Shing, who knows the Indian consumer like the back of his hand, then remain away from India? He is getting ready to enter India this time through the booming organised retail sector. According to an ET report, subject to regulatory reforms, Hutchison Whampoa plans to storm the country’s health and beauty retail scene with its leading retail chain AS Watson (ASW).

With a history dating back to 1828, the US$ 12 billion, AS Watson has evolved into an international retail business of repute with 7,600 retail stores in 37 markets and 98,000 employees worldwide. ASW’s worldwide operations comprise health & beauty, luxury perfumeries & cosmetics, food, electronics, fine wine and airport retail arms. ASW is also an established player in the beverage industry, providing a full range of beverages from bottled water, fruit juices, soft drinks and tea products to the world’s finest wine labels via its international wine wholesaler and distributor.

The ASW portfolio encompasses some of Asia’s favourite brands and retail chains. These include health & beauty specialist Watsons Your Personal Store, PARKnSHOP supermarket, TASTE food galleria, Great Food Hall, Gourmet boutique style fine food hall, Fortress electrical appliance stores, Watson’s Wine Cellar, Nuance-Watson airport duty free shops and Watsons Water.

ASW plans to foray in India through health and beauty specialist Watson’s “Your Personal Store,” retail format. This, of course, will be subject to policy changes in the retail sector as ASW would like to enter the country only when majority stake in multi-brand retail is allowed by the government.

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