Described as Korea’s ‘first successful budget brand’, Missha was among the first in the K-beauty to wave to shoot to popularity; however, last year it was forced to pull out of Hong Kong and Macau due to declining sales, closing its outlets there.
The Abel C&C-owned company has now announced it is launching its Line Friends range, which focuses on novelty characters, across China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Myanmar, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Vietnam.
The move suggests the brand is keen to strengthen again in the Asia region, a move back from its recent strategy of targeting Western markets.
Home and abroad
The tougher times started for Missha early last year, when the brand was forced to exit Hong Kong and Macau, and two months later, sales of its parent company fell by 20% in Japan.
Missha itself reported losses across the board - operating profit, sales and net profit - and fell behind key K-beauty rivals, The Face Shop and Innisfree.
Industry commentators predicted the brand would need to focus its efforts on new markets and expansion to keep its operation afloat, a tactic which was already a focus: Missha was one of the first K-beauty names to target Europe.
"Fortunately, Missha seems to have foreseen its reduced prospects in its existing markets, and has shown a keen interest in exploring new ones,” Datamonitor consumer researcher, Irene Bi, noted.
“Since, July 2014 the brand has reportedly opened stores in Germany, Slovakia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Poland."
Missha’s affordability has meant the brand has been able to differentiate itself from the bulk of K-beauty players operating in foreign markets, helping it overcome its slump: its move now apparently to recenter its efforts in Asia markets suggests it is optimistic of its prospects in the region again.
“We expect our Line Friends edition cosmetics to help drive up Missha’s sales and brand awareness across Asia,” Able C&C’s overseas business director Lee Gwang-sub reportedly said to the Korea Herald.