The store based in Hangzhou will give Chinese consumers access to SU:M37’s naturally fermented cosmetics, which feature 105 species of micro-organisms and over 300 different raw materials, without having to hit the airport.
Launched in 2007, SU:M37 – roughly translated as ‘life awakening secret’ - finally made the move into China this summer following huge tourist demand in Korean duty free stores, with sales amounting to 40 billion won in 2015.
The retail concept is being rolled out in Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing while Thunder PR has been brought on board to help with communications, launches and events. The agency has particular experience with Clarins, Fresh and The History of Whoo.
"Adding SU:M37 to our growing client list has allowed us to establish an even stronger national lifestyle practice and enhanced our strength in the field of cosmetics,” said PR reps on the partnership.
A preference for Korean cosmetics among Chinese tourists is giving K-beauty brands a space to gauge whether it’s worth investing in the China's markets in the long term.
According to statistics from the South Korean financial investment and tourism information system, as many as 574,000 Chinese visitors were reported to have made the trip to close neighbour Korea in 2014, which makes up 45% of all foreign tourists.
Women are reported to be the main group fuelling sales and in fact, AmorePacific attributes its strongest first quarter performance to date to Chinese tourists favouring its skin care at duty free shops.
Popular destinations for Chinese tourists in 2015 included Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Macau, and this is set to continue, due to the greater similarities in culture and taste, lower travel costs, more convenient, short-haul transit and less jet-lag.