While 21 Pacific Rim leaders were meeting in Busan for APEC, the Edae-ap branch of ?atsons?was holding opening sales on the street between the Edae subway station to Ewha? front gate.
GS-Watsons is the name of a new 50:50 joint venture company: A.S. Watson (?SW? the retail division of Hutchinson Whampoa Limited) and GS Retail (formerly known as LG Mart Co.; de-merged from the LG Group). GS-Watsons is a model example of cooperation between domestic market know-how and global corporation-level market tactics. GS Retail, formerly LG Mart, is experienced and knowledgeable in how the Korean market works. ?atsons,?or Watsons Your Personal Store, is the number one health and beauty retail chain in Asia, with over 980 stores in markets in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Turkey. Mr. Ian Wade, A.S. Watson Group Managing Director, states that Watsons is a combination of ASW? ?dvanced operating skills and global sourcing capabilities?and LG? ?istribution, logistics infrastructure, information system, and site development expertise.?Though it is yet to be seen whether this combination will pull its act off successfully in the next few years, Watson raked in a massive amount of capital in its first week of sales, stamping its name firmly in the minds of Edae-ap passersby with showy opening events and sales. The beauty and health retail chain has obviously based its marketing strategies in Korea trusting that the ?ell-being?boom in this country will proceed to form a culture emphasizing ?eauty and health.?Watsons did fine in its opening quite apart from whether the APEC forum was being held in Busan or not. Most opinions on the outcomes of the APEC forum are skeptical and once again heads of state have ended the forum, having spent only a week arguing on topics that need agreement and agreeing on topics that need action. Though it is important to make intergovernmental trade agreements, one thing is for sure within the market itself: what makes money is less talk and more action.