The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a big impact in the company’s travel retail division.
In FY2019, Shiseido’s travel retail arm reported strong performance, growing 19.4% year-on-year.
However, the outbreak of COVID-19 in January had an immediate impact on sales. By the first week of February, consumer purchases dropped by 6%.
Since China lifted its months-long lockdown, the firm believes it will now see the channel begin the recovery process.
“Despite the decline in overall traveller numbers, analysts are reporting on a recovery in travel and spend from the Chinese, who remain our core consumer,” said Elisabeth Jouguelet, VP of Marketing & Innovation, Shiseido Travel Retail.
Travel service provider Trip.com released a report detailing a significant increase in bookings over the five-day May Day holiday in China.
According to the group, it saw a 277% month-on-month increase in hotels that participated in the campaigns preceding the holiday period.
Jouguelet noted that overall, China’s economy has shown signs of recovery. “We are seeing an increase in shopping behaviour amongst the Chinese, mainly in domestic e-commerce and retail stores, while domestic tourism is showing green shoots.”
She highlighted that the firm has seen an increase in shopping frequency, with the majority of beauty purchases remaining the same or rising slowly.
“In addition, younger consumers have had a higher engagement with skin care content during the self-isolation period, which we foresee as positive demand for skin care as the market recovers.”
In response to these positive signs, the division announced that it would be release an assortment of new skin care products from its four skincare brands, SHISEIDO, ELIXIR, Anessa and IPSA, in select regions in travel retail.
“We need to be prepared to meet consumer demand when travel restrictions are lifted, while aiming for long-term growth and a continued commitment to creating beauty innovations for the traveller,” said Jouguelet.
Ranging from sun protection to pore care solutions, the new releases aim to address a wide range of skin concerns for travelling beauty consumers.
The company chose to launch new skin care products as skin care remains the largest and fastest-growing beauty category in global travel retail, said Jouguelet.
It is also leveraging on the growing consumer demand for skincare innovations with multifunctional benefits.
“Multifunctional products are gaining in popularity as modern consumers seek to simplify their beauty regimes – without sacrificing results.”
For instance, the IPSA’s Luminizing Clay is a dual gentle clay mask that can be used as a face mask or facial scrub.
The formula consists of sea mud that hydrates and removes excess oil from the skin and sodium acetylated hyaluronate that keeps skin plump and moisturised.
Due to its cult-favourite status, the Luminizing Clay is now available in a travel retail exclusive duo set.
“The new line-up, backed by extensive research and formulated with high-performing ingredients, answers this key trend, delivering a natural and healthy look while future-proofing the skin against ageing,” said Jouguelet.
Jouguelet believes these new launches will further strengthen Shiseido Travel Retail’s position in the volatile market.
“To build strong brands that stand the test of time, it is important to continuously create and deliver value to consumers… We are confident that our latest range, from the entry-prestige ELIXIR to the prestigious SHISEIDO offering, will engage and excite consumers all over the world.”