History of Whoo becomes first brand in Korea to hit two trillion won in sales

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

History of Whoo becomes first brand in Korea to hit two trillion won in sales
Premium cosmetics brand History of Whoo has made history by becoming Korea’s first brand to cross the two trillion won ($1.78bn) mark in annual sales.

LG Household and Healthcare (LG H&H) announced that its brand experienced a revenue increase of 40.8% year-on-year. In 2017, the brand reported 1.42bn won ($1.26m) in sales.

Trillion triumph

According to LG H&H, Whoo first surpassed the trillion won mark in 2016, 14 years after its launch.

This new milestone come just two years after, a notable feat considering that Korean beauty brands have been suffering from the sharp decline in Chinese tourist due to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) dispute.

The fallout has affected companies such as Korean beauty giant Amorepacific, which experienced huge blows to its profits and sales of its brands, including luxury line Sulwhasoo.

LG H&H added that Whoo’s sales performance is on par with leading luxury beauty brands such as Lancome, Shiseido and Estee Lauder, which have reported 5.3tn won ($4.72bn), 4.7tn won ($4.18bn) and 4.4tn ($3.92bn) won respectively, according to LG.

“This is significant because it has grown into a brand that can be compared shoulder to shoulder with larger brands,” ​said the company in a statement.

The company credits Whoo’s success to the brand’s story of luxurious royal court culture, which is marketed through its traditional herbal formulations and opulent packaging. “The company continues to enjoy high growth by providing differentiated value to its customers.

Up and coming

In addition to the success of Whoo, LG H&H noted the potential of its “next generation brand”, ​su:m37.

According to the company, it expected su:m37 to generate 440 bn won ($392bn) in 2018, a 15.8% increase from 2017 sales of 380bn won ($338bn)

The combined sales of Whoo and su:m37 are expected to reach around 2.44tn won ($2.17bn), which exceeds LG H&H’s total sales of 2.22tn won ($1.98bn) nine years ago.

Launched in 2007, su:m37 is a premium skin care line that utilises the natural fermentation process to create its products.

Its ingredients are fermented at the brand’s very own Natural Fermentation Research Institute, located in the pristine Gangwon province. The facility’s location is free of commercial activities in its 10km radius to ensure purity.

The company noted that su:m37 has been gaining popularity among consumers in China, and it has been expanding its presence in Asia by means of countries such as Singapore and Vietnam.

Strong third quarter

In October, LG H&H reported its total sales increased 10.6% to 1.7tn won ($1.98bn), with operating profit rising 9.8% to 278bn won.

Its cosmetics sector saw a 23.5% increase in sales year-on-year and 30.6% increase in operating profit for its third quarter.

This performance, said the company was mainly driven by its luxury cosmetics brands like Whoo, su:m37, Ohui and Belif, which reported high sales performance in both domestic and overseas markets.

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