Retail & eCommerce

Jian Zao Chen

Jian Zao Chen, the low-key founder of Poya, built an empire from hair accessories

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Jian Zao Chen may not be as high-profile as other retail tycoons, but Poya, the store he founded with his wife, is the most well-known beauty department store in Taiwan, with a market value exceeding that of the venerable Far Eastern Department Store.

The couple first sold hair clips at a stall in Tainan West Market, which enabled them to open a shop, becoming successful through its wholesale pricing strategy. After selling the shop to his brother-in-law, Chen and his family left for Argentina, where they failed to establish an aquaculture farm. Returning to Taiwan in 1985, they started a new retail concept selling products imported from America and Japan. With the help of their suppliers, Chen and his wife made a comeback.

In 2019, they expanded into hardware and home repair with Poya Home. The company now has 230 stores across Taiwan, with a goal of reaching 400 by 2025.

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Poya is currently run by Zong-cheng Chen, the founders’ son-in-law. 

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