Guardian to open 30 new stores next year

KUALA LUMPUR: Guardian Health and Beauty Sdn Bhd (Guardian Malaysia) plans to open between 25 and 30 new stores next year as it embarks on an aggressive expansion plan to further strengthen its position in the domestic health and beauty retail market.

Chief Executive Officer Peter J Dove said besides the new stores opening, the company would also refurbish 70 stores, as well as, close 15 existing stores which are less performing.

At present, Guardian Malaysia has 430 outlets nationwide and commands a 30% market share in the health and beauty segment.

"Domestically, the current retail market is tough and demand is soft, so we have conducted a research and come out with a new concept, which is aligning products with shoppers' demand, and then see the customers' response," Dove told Bernama after launching Guardian's concept store in Kuala Lumpur City Centre today.

The retailers in the pharmacy and personal care sub-sector are expecting to record an 11.4% growth in the third quarter of 2016.

Guardian Malaysia also plans to implement the same concept store idea for 10 out of its 40 top stores nationwide.

"We will also introduce and aggressively go into e-commerce next year to reach more customers," he said, but declined to disclose the investment allocation to develop the new e-commerce platform and new concept stores.

Meanwhile, the new concept store incorporates shopper-friendly features including a "Make Me Up" corner, which focuses on addressing the needs of shoppers, highlighting the latest cosmetics products and trend, as well as offering a semi-private area for product trials.

Guardian Malaysia has also expanded its range of new international and local brands, as well as spearheaded the first modern trade pharmacy initiative with the listing of traditional Chinese herbal health products. — Bernama