The Urban Damage Range launched exclusively in Watsons Thailand last year under Shiseido’s derma skin care brand, d program.
CEO of Shiseido Group, Masahiko Uotani, said A.S Watson (ASW) was the ‘perfect retailer’ to bring the Urban Damage Care range to market.
“With ASW’s extensive distribution network and customer insight of the derma cosmetics category and Shiseido’s expertise in R&D and innovation, this has enabled us to co-create a range that supports our core values of putting the customers’ needs first while ensuring that it is accessible to customers.”
d program is an existing range by Shiseido which offers a range of dermatologically-tested products which are designed to relieve sensitive skin from irritation.
The Urban Damage Care was developed to be a skincare solution that protects consumers with sensitive skin from the harmful effects of environmental pollution.
Meeting demand for derma
Malina Ngai, group chief operating officer of ASW said that the companies developed the range after exchanging notes on the increasing demand for more sophisticated skin care solutions in Asia.
“We collaborated to develop the range that we believe will be best suitable for modern Asian females to improve their skin to defend against urban pollution.”
Shiseido was the perfect partner, as ASW consumers have strong trust in Japanese-made skin care, said Ngai.
“When it comes to skincare products, Asian consumers always have a strong trust in Japanese brands. For derma skin care, it’s developed for sensitive skin, hence customers do look for a brand they trust.”
Additionally, the company saw a demand for products in the derma skin care category.
According to ASW, the derma skin care category experienced a 24% compound sales growth since 2014.
The company believes more consumers are seeking more derma skin care with its online search for products in that category growing by 117% compared to the year before.
Ngai said the company saw a gap in the market for an Asian-made derma skin care brand because most of the brands available in the Asian market are from the US or France.
“For many years, derma skin brands available in Asia come mainly from France and US. So the launch of d program Urban Damage Care from Japan is an innovation for customers and will provide more choices for them.”
Ngai said ASW provided consumer insights from its extensive member database, while Shiseido shared 40 years’ worth of sensitive skin research to bring the range to life.
“MNCs who are our international strategic partners value our customer insights and understanding hence many of them discuss with us on product launches, new category development, new range development as well as new market.”
The companies decided to launch the range in Thailand, where air pollution is a major concern among beauty consumers.
ASW claimed that the Urban Damage Range was an instant success and sold-out in stores immediately.
The company added that it capitalised on the smog crisis that hit Bangkok last year.
“Last year, a toxic smog blanketed Bangkok and caused high levels of air pollution, which is one of the biggest threats to skin. Therefore, when a range offering the perfect solution to relieve customers from the harmful skin effects launched, it was sold out immediately.”
Since then, ASW has launched d program Urban Damage Care in Taiwan. It will expand its presence into China this month.
According to ASW, it is planning to launch the brand in its other Asian markets soon to reach its consumers and loyal members.
“We have a scalable loyalty program with 135 million members whom we are in touch with frequently,” said Ngai.
Ngai added that ASW and Shiseido will continue to work together to identify consumer needs.
“ASW focuses on bringing our customers quality and unique products that are on trend and relevant to their needs. ASW and Shiseido are strategic business partners and we will continue to work very closely to explore different ways which best suit the needs of our customers.”