Brand story: Top news on the big name beauty brands across APAC

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

We round up of our most-read brand-related stories of the region. ©A.S. Watson
We round up of our most-read brand-related stories of the region. ©A.S. Watson
We round up of our most-read brand-related stories of the region, featuring AmorePacific, A.S. Watson, Shiseido and more.

1 – AmorePacific opens centre dedicated to the research and development of anti-pollution products

AmorePacific has launched an anti-pollution research centre​ at its Technology Research Institute in Korea in an effort to research the negative effects of pollution on the skin.

The goal of the facility is to develop new products with anti-pollution technology that can protect the skin from pollution.

The company said it planned to develop various anti-pollution solutions that protect the skin as well as remove pollutants from the skin surface and reduce the signs of damage.

“The AmorePacific Anti-Pollution Research Center was founded by AmorePacific Technology Research Institute, which has been able to predict the harmful environment and protect the skin health of our customers," ​said Kim Chang-gi, director of the centre.

2 – A.S. Watson plans to open over 1,300 stores this year with one-third planned for China

Health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson Group says it plans to open over 1,300 stores this year​ and one-third of the launches will be in China.

The company just celebrated the opening it of its 15,000th store, a Watsons located in Central i-City, Malaysia.

According to the company, it has been opening new stores at an average speed of one store every seven hours across its 25 markets in Asia and Europe for the fourth year in the row.

“Continuing this momentum, we will be expanding at the speed of one store every seven hours. In 2019 we target to open over 1,300 stores, around one-third will be in China,”​ said Dominic Lai, group managing director of A.S. Watson Group.

3 – Shiseido and A.S. Watson to launch co-created anti-pollution range in more Asian markets

The success of Shiseido and A.S. Watson’s co-created anti-pollution skin care range​ has prompted the companies to expand it to more Asian markets.

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.”

4 — Sale of Carver to Unilever made Korean PE history, analysts reveal

A KRW300bn investment in a South Korean cosmetics firm in 2016 has proved to be the most profitable private equity acquisition​ in the country’s history, a new analysis of data has shown.

The US$263.5m deal, led by a consortium of Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs for Carver Korea, returned more than six times the invested capital after just a year, analysts at Korea Economic Daily found.

The two financiers came out of the deal with proceeds of KRW1.9tr (US$1.6bn) from the sale of shares in Carver Korea to Unilever for around KRW3tr in 2017.

Founded in 1999, Carver had shown exponential growth over five years prior to the sale. Starting off as an aesthetics company supplying professional products to beauty salons, it since became the fastest-growing skincare business in South Korea, through sales of its brand, AHC.

5 – Japan’s Ci:Z Holdings aims to take flight in APAC travel retail market

Japanese cosmetics company Ci:z Holdings has identified travel retail as a strategic channel​ to help drive the sales of its two brands – Dr. Ci:Labo and Labo Labo.

Phillipe Gueulet, International Commercial Director of Dr. Ci:Labo, said it was the company’s priority to increase brand awareness and expansion within Asia-Pacific’s travel retail market.

“Travel retail is an incredibly powerful channel which offers unmatched potential for consumer engagement and brand building. Travellers have a relatively long dwell time at airports which means we have a captive audience who have time to explore our products,”​ said Gueulet.

He concluded: “Our investment in this channel is an important step as we look to reinforce the prestige credentials and brand equity of the Dr. Ci:Labo portfolio.”

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