Kanebo looking to double sales and expand across Asia

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Kanebo looking to double sales and expand across Asia

Related tags South east asia Southeast asia

Kao-owned cosmetics firm Kanebo is looking to double sales of its leading brand, Kate, by entering it into the markets of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and by strengthening its offering in China.

According to the Asia Nikkei​, Kanebo is aiming for its Kate brand to bring in as much as 40 billion yen (USD 369 million) by 2020, and is looking to achieve this growth through developing its outlet portfolio in the major cities of China.

The company hopes that this push on the Kate brand in South East Asia and China, will help it contribute to parent-company Kao’s rising profits, which jumped 16% to reach a record 155 billion yen (USD 1.26 billion) in 2015.

Eyes on e-commerce

Kanebo will also reportedly develop e-commerce-only Kate products for the China market, tapping into the rising trend for online sales in the country.

Indeed, its parent-company Kao has been making strong strides into China’s e-commerce market in recent months, with Kanebo’s latest announcement just the latest in the string of moves by the Japanese corporation to establish its digital presence.

The firm recently confirmed a deal with JD Worldwide​, one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the country, in a move which followed its first step into cross-border retail in the country with Alibaba in 2015.

China presence

It’s not just in the online arena that Kao is building its presence in China, though: the company last year invested in its third manufacturing facility in the country, for the production of key ingredients for shampoo and other cosmetics.

The plant, located in Shanghai, is aimed at product development to meet the developing consumer demands in China, particularly that of eco-friendly products.

According to the company, the new plant focuses its production on surfactants, which are used in the majority of daily-use personal care products, especially in the hair care segment.

Kanebo has proved a controversial brand in recent years, owing to the skin damage sustained by thousands of consumers​ from some of its skin-whitening products. Kao’s new drive to grow the brand suggests it is hoping to begin moving Kanebo on in public perception.   

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