Shiseido strengthens Greek operations with joint venture

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

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Shiseido has launched a joint venture with Greek cosmetics player Gerolymatos in an attempt to increase its sales in the country.

The Japan-based company has been present in Greece for over 15 years, but its products have always been available through distributors.

Through the joint venture, which will be called Shiseido Hellas, the company is hoping to get closer to the market in order to enhance its presence and, ultimately, increase sales.

Market developments meant the company was under increasing pressure to alter its business model, according to the company.

Shiseido’s Greek operations differ from those in its European neighbours as most of its sales are from the skin care segment, where a high level of customer service is needed, rather than fragrance, which dominates other markets.

In order to provide the advice and consumer care that this skincare dominated market requires, Shiseido said the joint venture will develop a robust sales organisation with specially trained beauty consultants.

Moving away from distributors has also been the company’s business plan in Russia, where operations were moved in 2008 to a wholly owned subsidiary.

Growing its international markets has been a focus for the Japanese company for some time, which seeks to become “a global player representing Asia with its origins in Japan”.

The company recently announced a move into Central Asia with operations in Azernaijan, along with opening sales channels in Loas in Southeast Asia, while Egypt and Morocco represent the company’s first foray into the African continent.

November 2009 will see the creation of the Shiseido Hellas, with investment from Shiseido Europe (51 per cent) with Gerolymatos Cosmetics a subsidiary of Alapis providing 49 per cent of the investment. Operations should start in January 2010.

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