Missha halts business in Hong Kong

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Missha halts business in Hong Kong

Related tags Hong kong South korea

Beauty brand Missha has 'suspended business' at all of its outlets in Hong Kong. The drastic move comes as a surprise, as Korean cosmetics are in high demand of late.

Missha first opened in Hong Kong back in 2004, expanding to 20 outlets across the city by 2014, including two standalone stores in Wan Chai and Mong Kok.

However, analysts now reckon the Korean brand has suffered at the hands of tough competition as more savvy South Korean brands like Nature Republic have been offering a greater variety of products for younger shoppers at more prime locations.

On January 3rd, local newspaper Apple Daily ​reported an employee of the Tsuen Kam Centre store, Tsuen Wan to have received a 'WhatsApp' message from a head-office colleague saying; "The boss is gone. Everyone can leave."

The last message posted on the brand's Facebook page was on December 31, promoting its Christmas gift packages, a line that ended on January 1.

Korean brands in demand

As Korean cosmetics brands continue to see success on their neighbouring AP markets, factors such as affordability and an ever expanding male grooming segment are found to be the key driving forces.

According to a survey carried out by the Seoul Business Agency, 62% of Chinese consumers aged between 20-39 feel Korean cosmetics suit them well, 27% find them to be trendy and just 4% feel that they are expensive.

For these consumers, the online platform was indicated as the preferred option, with 26% opting for this route rather than the traditional large markets (3%). In addition, 21% said they visited Korea in order to purchase.

Elsewhere, Euromonitor places Korea as the largest market in the world for men's skin care products, accounting for 21% of global sales.

Cosmetics brands endorsed by Korean celebrities, particularly in the area of skin care, is proving successful in driving brand awareness and sales in new markets for these manufacturers.

In recent years the country's TV dramas, films and music have gained a following across Asia to an extent where some observers claim Korean pop culture is now a possible alternative to a globalised US culture.

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