Full speed ahead: Bespoke perfume house Maison 21G accelerates global expansion, targets China in 2022
Maison 21G is a perfume house that enables consumers to create their own signature scent with its proprietary algorithm and technology.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has been moving full speed ahead, expanding its local footprint with retail partnerships with big names like Sephora.
This June, the brand unveiled its new flagship within the city-state’s iconic landmark, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and is going to launch another store in the shopping district of Orchard Road in the third quarter.
Now that it has secured a strong presence in Singapore, the company is focusing on expanding overseas.
In the last couple of months, Maison 21G made its debut in Hong Kong and Thailand. The brand is was set to launch in Vietnam this month as well, but delayed plans because of the declining COVID-19 situation in the country.
“I’m really excited to launch in Vietnam. It’s a market with a young, affluent population and it’s a very good investment for the company,” said founder and CEO Johanna Monange.
After Asia, the company is looking ahead to the Middle East, where it is currently undergoing negotiations with one of the region’s biggest players in luxury to open a flagship store in Dubai, hopefully in early 2022.
Next stop, China
The company’s debut in Hong Kong marked an extremely important milestone for the business, as Monange is extremely keen on expanding into China.
“I just opened in Hong Kong and it has been a huge success and I’m very happy with it because everyone knows that Hong Kong is the door to China. If I’m successful with the Hong Kong market, it’s a very good sign for China,” said Monange.
She told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that discussions to expand the business in China were already underway.
“I’m currently discussing the possibility of a joint venture with a Chinese partner, but I could also go there myself. I want a store in Shanghai first and then later go on Tmall and RED. Yes, 2022 will be a big focus on China.”
With interest in fine fragrance taking off in China, the company believes it will be crucial to start building a presence in the market.
“For the first time now, we are seeing double-digit growth of perfumes, and triple-digit growths in niche perfumery. There’s a huge opportunity for perfume – the penetration rate is so small that you can only grow in China,” said Monange.
She added that she has observed a growing appetite among Chinese consumers for perfumes as their idea of luxury has shifted in recent years.
“If you asked me 10 years ago, I would have said the Chinese don’t see the value of a perfume. They would rather buy a watch or a bottle of cognac. Now, they are look for more subtle signs of luxury and perfume is part of that,” said Monange.
After China, Monange does not rule out the possibility of taking the brand to Europe, especially her home country of France.
Despite the uncertain global conditions, Monange expressed confidence in her expansion plans, highlighting the strength of the business’s online-to-offline (O2O) model, which has allowed it to thrive under the pandemic.
Aside from market expansion, Monange revealed that the company has a raft of new product innovations in the works as well.
The company closed its second round of funding in February this year. Its looking to go for its Series B funding round next year in order to attract investors that can lend experience, knowledge and talent to the business.