According to the firm, even though the COVID-19 pandemic hit its travel retail business hard, it managed to grow and expand its business.
This year, the company’s objective is to grow its brands in China through its lucrative travel retail market.
On January 4, the company commenced operations of its Hong Kong-based subsidiary to manage the group’s travel retail business.
While the travel retail market is currently experiencing difficult conditions due to a significant reduction in international flights, China’s travel retail market has experienced a boom thanks to domestic tourism.
One of the firm’s top priorities is to expand its brands’ footprint on Hainan Island, a popular vacation spot and home to Sanya, China’s travel retail mecca.
“With Hainan offshore Duty-Free policy, our group expects significant growth the travel retail business on Hainan Island in the future. We think it is a great opportunity for us to expand our business to aggressively open new stores in Hainan Island, taking advantage of the growing brand presence in China,” said Yoshikazu Yokote, director and CEO, Pola Orbis Travel Retail.
The company is aiming to leverage the popularity of its flagship high-end brand POLA by expanding the brand’s footprint in China.
“In order to succeed in travel retail, we believe that the brand must be unique and attractive to Chinese customers as well as to the Chinese market. In this sense, POLA has the most potential. POLA is currently expanding its business in China and has a very strong brand reputation. Expanding POLA's counters in travel retail, especially in China, is a top priority for our group.” said Yokote.
In addition to POLA, the company has observed plenty of interest in its other brands, Yokote added.
“Jurlique is also currently strengthening its brand in China, and has already achieved significant growth in Hainan Island, so we have high expectations for the future. Brands such as THREE and ITRIM are also growing in popularity despite being available only through cross-border e-commerce, so there are ample opportunities.”
Next stop, Asia
By fostering the growth of its brands in China, the company is gearing up to take on the international market once global travel resumes post-pandemic.
“The group recognises that it is the Chinese tourists who will continue to support the expansion of the travel retail cosmetics market, especially in Asia. We believe that the growing presence of each of our brands with Chinese customers will be a great opportunity for the travel retail channel in the future,” said Yokote.
Yokote reiterated that this is why the company considers the strengthening of its brands in China as a top priority.
“The travel channel is an important point of contact and buying opportunity for Chinese customers. In this sense, you can see that the travel retail business plays an extremely important role in the Group's growth potential.”