Japan's cosmetics firms show new face overseas
Friday 16 July 2010
Japan's cosmetics companies are bringing their hit domestic products to foreign markets, with two of the largest beauty product firms announcing major new forays overseas this week.
Kanebo Cosmetics is to release its Kate range in China on September 1, hoping to attract fashionable, young consumers - the same women who have made the brand such a colossal hit in Japan.
Since its launch on the domestic market in 1997, Kate has become the top-selling brand in the self-selection makeup market, thanks to a range of 139 items that project what the company calls a "cool and sharp" image for young, urban women.
Already available in Taiwan and Hong Kong, Kanebo will start selling the range at 20 outlets of Watson's Personal Care Stores, the leading health and beauty retailer in Asia, in Shanghai and Beijing. The company aims to have 100 stores stocking the mega-brand products by the end of 2011.
Meanwhile, Shiseido Co. - Japan's largest cosmetics firm - said Thursday that it will start selling its ranges in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia before the end of the month, making it the first Japanese cosmetics firm to start operating in the region.
Shiseido plans to open two or three stores in each country in the first year, targeting residents of the countries' capital cities and taking advantage of a sales model that encourages consumers being counselled on their purchases by sales staff.
Famous for the Shiseido brand, the company is also behind the Maquillage, Elixir and Aqua Label brands, while it also owns the Issey Miyake and Narciso Rodriguez perfume labels.
Last year, the company completed the purchase of Bare Escentuals Inc., paying Y1.46 billion ($15.95 million) for the California-based company as it seeks to expand its business in North America.
And faced with, at best, a static domestic market in Japan, other companies are following similar growth strategies.
Kose Corp. opened its first Cosme Decorte store in Beijing last year, specifically targeting the city's growing affluent consumer base, while DHC Corp. has also signed a deal with Watson's to sell its skincare lines in Singapore for the first time.
Nippon Menard, the Nagoya-based company behind such names as Embellir, Saranari and Beauness, has around 1,000 outlets around the world and aims to raise that to 4,000 in the next couple of years, while it also opened the Menard Institute Monte Carlo in 2009.
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