GCW retained by A.S. Watson to drive Savers and Superdrug expansion

A.S. Watson Group, the owner of brands including Savers and Superdrug, has appointed GCW as retained agent for the South of England. The world’s largest international health and beauty retailer has ambitious plans for its UK store portfolio. GCW will focus on identifying acquisition opportunities for Savers and Superdrug stores as part of an ongoing expansion drive.

Established in Hong Kong in 1841, A.S. Watson Group has a global portfolio of more than 16,200 stores in 29 markets. The retailer has identified the UK as a growth market and has set a target of opening 20 Superdrug and 35 Savers stores each year from 2022 as part of a rolling expansion programme. Following a competitive tendering process, the group has appointed GCW as retained agent, with a remit including acquisitions, disposals, and professional advisory work across the south of England.

A.S. Watson has already opened around 800 Superdrug and 500 Savers stores across the UK yet sees potential to extend its reach. GCW will now work to identify acquisition opportunities across the South of England. Priorities include bringing new 2,000 – 3,500 sq ft high street Savers stores to London suburbs, and helping Superdrug upsize to larger 7,500 – 10,000 sq ft city centre ambassador stores, incorporating additional services such as treatment and brows.

GCW Partner, Simon Horner, said: “We are incredibly excited to be working with such a high-profile high street occupier keen to extend their portfolio. Our boots on the ground approach really resonated with them.”

He added: “At GCW we are renowned for unearthing opportunities and securing most acquisitions off-market. Our proactive attitude helps clients meet their strategic goals and we look forward to working with high street mainstay A.S. Watson to embark on the next stage of growth.”