Neil Ebbutt, Rituals director travel retail told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the expansion to APAC would help the brand achieve its goal to 1,000 stores globally in the next five years.
“We’ve spent the past few years building up brand awareness and presence in our home market Europe, the Middle East and more recently in the Americas, so the time has come to expand our horizons to Asia Pacific – one of the most dynamic regions for both domestic retail and travel retail,” he said.
Showcasing Rituals to Asia
A year ago, Rituals entered Asia with a pop-up in Hong Kong. The reception was very encouraging and inspired the company to advance plans for the region, said Ebbutt.
“We decided to make the pop-up a permanent space where we can keep on inspiring our Asian fans with our products and brand philosophy. Hong Kong is a culturally diverse city with a huge number of Asian visitors annually and therefore represents the ideal ‘shop-window’ to showcase our brand and position it for the next stage of growth,” he said.
The company has also unveiled an office and warehouse facility in Hong Kong to support its growth plans in the region.
“Opening the Hong Kong office and warehouse facility is a major investment and step forward as we look to convert the Asia opportunity,” said Ebbutt.
The dedicated office will help the company build its distribution across all channels through key markets in the regions.
“Our plan is to open stores in key Asian cities over the coming years, this will include airports and downtown retail locations. We will also look to strengthen the brand’s presence in leading hotels and airlines in the region through appointed distributors,” said Ebbutt.
The opening of the Hong Kong store will lead more openings in key locations, including 10 more APAC locations in the travel retail channel, including its first venture into South Korea.
“Travel retail is leading the way in building the brand’s presence in Asia, which not only shows the power of the channel but also allows airports and retailers to better differentiate themselves by being the gateway into the Rituals world. Our vision is to build a truly global lifestyle brand and we’re ready to capitalise on this travel retail-first approach.”
Targeting the Chinese consumer
To further support the brand’s expansion in Asia, Rituals has developed a bespoke brand strategy and communications campaign to reach the key Chinese consumer demographic.
Ebbutt elaborated: “A key part of our launch in Asia is a bespoke brand strategy for the region. We are working on how to effectively reach the important Chinese consumer through touchpoints such as social media, in-store visual merchandising and a clear global pricing strategy. E-commerce will also be important to our success and we will soon launch cross-border e-commerce in China.”
Rituals claims to be the first brand in the world to combine home and body cosmetics. Ebbutt believes the brand’s philosophy will resonate with Asian consumers.
“With its unique combination of skincare, body cosmetics, precious mineral make-up and home care products, Rituals combines advanced technology with ancient Asian traditions. We believe the brand’s exclusive range of affordably priced products that transform everyday routines like bathing, shaving and drinking tea into more meaningful moments will resonate with Asian consumers.”