Shiseido adds Elixir to travel retail portfolio to capture Chinese sales boom

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido adds Elixir to travel retail portfolio to capture Chinese sales boom
The popularity of Japanese skin care brand Elixir in China has prompted Shiseido to launch the brand via its travel retail arm.

Elixir made its travel retail debut in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport with King Power International on March 16.

Philippe Lesné, president and CEO of Shiseido Travel Retail said: “We are delighted to bring Elixir into our travel retail portfolio... At Shiseido Travel Retail, we are dedicated to driving category growth through innovation.”

Susan Whelan, senior executive vice president of King Power International added: “We are excited to collaborate with Shiseido Travel Retail to debut the Elixir brand in travel retail. We have a strong partnership with Shiseido Travel Retail and are very pleased to have this opportunity to introduce a new brand into the entry-prestige skincare category.”

Capitalising on China demand

Sales of Elixir has been thriving in China since the brand’s relaunch in 2017.

In 2018, Elixir experienced growth of 59% and more than tripled its e-commerce sales year-on-year, said the company.

The company said launching in Thailand first was the “natural choice”​ for the brand because Thailand was the top international destination for Chinese travellers. It added that Suvarnabhumi Airport was the second-most visited airport visited by these Chinese tourists.

Lesné said that the firm planned to launch the brand in more travel retail markets in Asia Pacific.

“Bangkok will be a great start and we look forward to rolling the brand out to more markets in the coming months.”

After Thailand, the company plans to increase Elixir’s presence in Asia Pacific by expanding the brand to its travel retail channels in China and South Korea.

“The brand has enjoyed incredible success in Asian domestic markets, and we are now happy to present it to dynamic travelling consumers,”​ said Lesné.

He added that he was confident in the brand’s success in Asia because there was a rising demand for luxury skin care products in the travel retail channel.

An accessible luxury

Additionally, Lesné said its positioning as an entry-prestige brand would help draw new consumers in with its accessibility.

“We believe that Elixir is well-positioned to fuel further growth through prestige anti-ageing products, at an accessible price point. There is major potential in the channel for this segment, so it’s an exciting step forward for us,” ​said Lesné.

According to the company, Elixir has been Japan’s number one skin care brand for 12 consecutive years. Shiseido says this is due to its decades of research into ageing and collagen. It aims to give users “tsuyadama” – a natural glow from firm and ‘transparent’ skin.

Its bestsellers include Day Care Revolution, Sleeping Gel Pack, Booster Essence and Wrinkle Cream, all of which are top sellers in their respective categories in Japan.

The brand’s Wrinkle Cream, which is formulated with retinol, is particularly popular in China.

When it first launched on Tmall in April 2018, it became the platform’s bestselling eye cream in the same month.

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