Health and beauty retailer AS Watson has opened up its MoneyBack loyalty programme to help retailers.

The move will help retailers in Hong Kong promote their businesses for free in preparation for an easing the coronavirus pandemic.

“The pandemic has hit every community hard in many aspects, and it is extremely challenging for retailers,” said AS Watson (Asia & Europe) CEO Malina Ngai. “AS Watson is deeply rooted in Hong Kong for 180 years, we have been through many crises of different nature with the community. We know difficult days will pass, hence we should proactively plan ahead.”

The group’s loyalty programme, which partners with 130 offline and online retailers, has an active member base of 3.7 million people, roughly half of Hong Kong’s population.

Small and large retailers are now being encouraged by the firm to register for the programme free of charge. Participating merchants will receive free promotional opportunities, including the provision of free Watson face masks as shopping rewards.