Muji - Japan’s 'IKEA' expands beauty range in Australia

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Japan Cosmetics

Japan's version of Swedish furniture maker 'Ikea' that also offers an affordable cosmetics range, is expanding into Australia after huge success in its home country.

'Muji' markets itself closely to the traditional Japanese aesthetic of “su”– meaning 'plain'. The idea being that simplicity is not modest or frugal and can be more appealing than luxury in some cases.

The retailer has expanded to include 700 stores worldwide, offering shoppers 'simple' fashion, furniture and cosmetics products.

After seeing strong purchasing behaviour from Australian tourists in Japan in particular, the company behind 'Muji', Ryohin Keikaku opened its first store in Melbourne in 2013.

The firm now has plans to open two more stores in Melbourne and three in Sydney by 2018.

The 'Muji beauty' range includes bath and shower products, nail and make-up tool kits as well as aromatherapy and home fragrances with natural ingredients.

Actual Ikea chain has yet to venture into the cosmetics field...

Back in 2013, the Swedish furniture maker considered venturing into the cosmetics field.

When the flatpack multinational conglomerate was given the go ahead to expand its' business into India two years ago, some had suggested that it would open the doors for it to retail a host of single-brand retail products like cosmetics, apparel and office products.

Ikea reported profit in 2013 to have risen by 3.1% to €3.3bn and has 338 stores in 40 countries.

The company will also invest nearly $82 million in the southern state of Karnataka to develop a supply chain infrastructure and new stores, according to a report by The Times of India.

Demand for Japanese cosmetics

The Asia region accounts for over 35% of the global natural and organic personal care market, and Japan is one of the major driving forces.

Brands in Japan are getting into gear on the naturals trend, as recent sales figures show consumer enthusiasm for such cosmetics is booming.

Key drivers behind the rising consumer enthusiasm for the naturals trend across Asia include increased disposable incomes, increased urbanisation, rising health concerns and better-informed consumers.

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