Missha becomes Korea’s first brand shop to target Western Europe's markets

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Germany shoppers at new Missha store. Source: Business Korea
Germany shoppers at new Missha store. Source: Business Korea

Related tags South korea Europe

Although the brand is present in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Missha is now concentrating its efforts on Western Europe, particularly Germany, where cosmetics account for the largest share of the European market.

The ambitious South Korea based cosmetics manufacturer is targeting Berlin with its' flagship product - the BB cream, also known as blemish balm. The store in Ingolstadt, just 80km from Munich, is the first of many plans to expand into major EU states in 2015.

Germany's media has welcomed the move, stating:"Missha, Asia’s innovative cosmetic brand has finally opened its shop in Germany​".

By making Germany our foothold, we will definitely show our success with excellent quality of Missha products in Europe, home of cosmetics,” ​adds Missha's Lee Gwang-sub, manager of global promotion.

To date, Missha is present in 28 countries including Korea, Japan and Turkey.

Putting its' best foot forward, despite having to halt business in Hong Kong

While the beauty brand is doing well in Europe, it announced it had to 'suspend business' at all of its outlets in Hong Kong in January. The drastic move came 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.

Now, analysts say that the 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 atprime 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

Korean cosmetics brands continue to see success in Asia and the West due to factors like affordability and an ever expanding male grooming segment.

Endorsements from Korean celebrities, particularly in the area of skin care, are 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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