Unlocking the mysteries of the Orient with FFB’s International Retailer of the Year

Food from Britain has named Hong-Kong based AS Watson as the “International Retailer of the Year” in this year’s FFB Food Export Awards, run in association with The Royal Bank of Scotland and The Grocer. The innovative retailer will top the bill at FFB’s annual Network Forum on 14 December, providing UK food and drink producers with an exclusive insight into a company that has single-handedly revolutionised the shopping experience in Hong Kong and Greater China.

Established in 1973, the AS Watson brand – Park n Shop – is Hong Kong’s leading supermarket chain with around one million shoppers visiting a neighbourhood store each week. Its success has been based on combining the Western supermarket concept with a traditional Hong Kong wet market, offering foods such as live fish, siu mei, lo mei and market style fruit and vegetables alongside an extensive range of international products.

With 250 stores across North and South China, Hong Kong and Macau, AS Watson has tapped in to the needs of an increasingly affluent population whose expectations of quality and convenience are rising each year.

“We are delighted to honour AS Watson with our prestigious International Retailer of the Year award,” commented Simon Waring, Marketing and International Management Director from Food from Britain. “China is one of the world’s largest potential export markets and sales of UK food and drink to this country have grown by 47% since 2003. Therefore it is vital that our manufacturers capitalise on this ever growing opportunity by working with forward-thinking retail partners such as AS Watson.

“Due to its innovative retailing format, AS Watson appeals not only to the ex-pats living in Hong Kong and China, but also the emerging “middle classes” – local residents with a higher disposable income and a growing taste for Western brands. The retailer is therefore extremely well placed to advise UK companies on how to win, build and sustain business in such a fast developing retail environment.”

Steve Jebson, Trading Director from AS Watson will be guest of honour at FFB?s Network Forum and Food Export Awards, being held at The Savoy in London on 14 December. He will address an audience of the UK’s top exporters, revealing the secrets to success in this culturally different marketplace and talking about Park n Shop’s business principles and strategy