The SAR's largest chemist chain, Watson's, entered the latest round of price wars yesterday, announcing $90 million in cuts and plans to spend $30 million opening 10 new stores over the next six months. Watson's joined ParknShop, which yesterday announced it would also give discounts of 25 to 50 per cent on 100 vitamin, mineral and herbal products. Watson's managing director, Gordon Reid, said the cuts were a result of the economic downturn and an in-house survey that found people were suffering stress linked to the terrorist attacks in the US. 'Not only do we see stress and anxiety at very high levels but, due to the economic downturn, consumers are cutting back on products and services designed to enhance their physical and psychological well-being,' he said. Watson's said it would open at least 10 new pharmacies next year, taking the number of stores to 40. ParknShop trading director Tim Chalk said they believed vitamins and health supplements were too expensive, especially for low-income or elderly customers who needed them most. Mr Chalk said vitamins would be permanently discounted by 25 per cent after the promotion and products from other areas in the store would also be discounted in the coming weeks. A Wellcome spokeswoman reacted by saying its strategy was not to react to competitors but to guarantee the lowest prices to customers.