The new store in T Galleria Beauty by DFS in Causeway Bay follows the brand’s February launch at T Galleria by DFS, Macau in Shoppes at Four Seasons.
Laura Mercier is currently not available in China, making this expansion particularly important for the brand, said Kenji Calméjane, general manager, travel retail Asia Pacific, Shiseido travel retail.
“Our decision to further expand the business by opening in travel retail was based on reaching our travelling consumers – in particular, the Chinese traveller, as the brand is currently unavailable in the Chinese domestic market,” said Calméjane.
She added: “It is also worth noting that travel retail is a unique channel and working with duty-free operators such as DFS presents us with excellent opportunities to build the brand. Travellers are early adopters and as such, are always on the pulse of the latest trends and hottest brands, such as Laura Mercier.”
According to Shiseido’s 2018 annual report, prestige beauty sales grew 16% in 2018 and made up 45% of its total sales.
The report stated that the company planned to further strengthen its prestige beauty brands in order to drive growth and hit its 2019 net sales target of ¥74bn ($684m).
“Laura Mercier is a rapidly-rising star with a lot of potential – it is a cult favourite in Asia Pacific and has achieved amazing growth in 2018. Our expansion plans for the brand are greatly supported by our consumer marketing insights team and Greater China is the place to be,” said Calméjane.
She believes the brand’s success can be attributed to its simple beauty philosophy which resonates well with Asian consumers.
“The brand is an expert in creating iconic complexion products that are in line with Laura Mercier’s philosophy that skin should still look like skin, and that base or complexion make-up should not mask skin but should enhance it while remaining natural.”
Expansion plans for 2019
Calméjane declined to comment on any detailed plans to expand Laura Mercier into the mainland.
“Entering this market remains a work in progress,” she said.
However, she said the company saw a lot of potential for the brand in Asia and hinted that it had “exciting expansion plans” for the brand in the future.
“The trend of ‘no make-up’ and ‘flawless face’ is no longer really a trend per se. It’s more a way of life, and that is why we expect the prolonged success of Laura Mercier and its continued growth momentum from 2018. Shiseido Travel Retail will be putting in place the appropriate investment to expand the brand’s distribution in travel retail markets in Asia Pacific in 2019 and beyond.”
Additionally, Calméjane revealed that company would be expanding the brand’s footprint with a focus on Hong Kong with openings lined-up for the second half of 2019.