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 Sensai, Laura Mercier, Watsons, Bobbi Brown and L’Occitane.

1 – Homecoming queen: Kao sets a date for Sensai’s return to Japan as it plans broader Asian expansion

Kao Corporation has revealed that its premium brand Sensai will be returning to Japan in September, with a China launch to follow in 2020, and then plans to expand it around Asia.

 “To grow Sensai further as the flagship brand in the G11 range, Kao will be introducing the brand into the Japanese market in September 2019 before a Sensai debut in China in 2020 followed by an expansion of the brand throughout Asia,” said the company in a statement.

The Japanese personal care company confirmed that the first outlet will be located in the Isetan Department Store at Shinjuku. Following that, the brand will launch in Osaka with a counter in Hankyu Umeda Main Store in October.

By accelerating Sensai’s expansion in Asia and reinforcing portfolio of prestige beauty brands, Kao aims to increase its cosmetics sales to Y400bn ($3.69bn) and achieve an operating income ratio of 15% by 2025.

2 – Shiseido and A.S. Watson form three-year plan to meet demand for J-Beauty in Asia

Shiseido Company and A.S. Watson Group have put together a three-year plan to co-create new products​ to meet the surging demand for Japanese beauty products, with Indonesia, the Philippines and China key target markets.

Due to the surging customer demand for Japanese beauty products, it’s one of the fastest-growing product categories, with consistent double-digit growth year-on-year, said Malina Ngai, group chief operating officer of A.S. Watson Group.

Previously, Shiseido and A.S. Watson co-created the Urban Damage Care range under the sensitive skin care brand d programme.

The exclusive range was introduced into China in April via Watsons stores and exceeded its sales target by three times.

3 – E-commerce expansion: Bobbi Brown expands online presences in SEA with Lazada partnership

Cosmetics brand Bobbi Brown is partnering with e-commerce platform Lazada to increase its online presence in South East Asia.

The brand launched its official store on LazMall in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand at the end of May with a Super Grand Opening Day.

The flagship will be the brand’s first entrance into Malaysia’s online beauty market and will have the largest online inventory in Singapore, claimed Lazada.

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is the fifth brand under Estée Lauder Companies to launch its online flagship store on Lazada.

“Having an iconic international brand like Bobbi Brown Cosmetics on board LazMall as its e-commerce partner of choice is a great win for Lazada and our customers,” said president of Lazada Group, Jing Yin.

4 – Laura Mercier expands in Hong Kong duty-free to reach Chinese travellers

Shiseido has increased cosmetics and skin care brand Laura Mercier’s presence in Hong Kong through the duty-free channel in order to capture Chinese travellers.

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.

He 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.”

5 – Profit jump: New sales strategy pays off for L’Occitane as net profits grow 21.8%

Hong Kong-listed L’Occitane has seen profits grow by 21.8% to €118.6m ($131.8m) in the first year of new ‘pulse’ sales strategy.

The firm recorded net sales of €1.42bn ($1.6bn), a growth of 8.7% from FY2018, with Reinold Geiger, chairman and CEO of L’Occitane, saying the group expected to see enhanced profitability for the next financial year.

“Following the material improvements we have made to L’Occitane en Provence and combining this with the largely accretive consolidation of Elemis’ sales into our overall revenue in FY2020, we expect to see better profitability in FY2020 and beyond,”​ he said.

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