POLA is the ‘ultra-prestige’ skin care brand owned by Japanese cosmetics manufacture Pola Orbis Holdings, which is also the company behind J-beauty brands ORBIS and THREE.
The brand has been expanding across Asia in recent years and is now present in seven markets. Over 2017 to 2020, the brand’s sales have grown four times over.
In the latest report to its shareholders, the company expressed optimism for the brand’s position and said it would now focus on achieving profitable growth of its overseas business.
The success of POLA overseas would not only boost the brand but also contribute tremendously to the group’s overall business performance, said the firm.
According to its new report, POLA’s overseas sales is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20% to 25% from 2021 to 2023. It expects overseas sales to reach JPY30bn (U$272m) by 2023.
Despite the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, POLA has been making significant strides in its overseas markets.
The growth of its overseas business is largely dependent on its sales in China, which have been growing at a rapid pace.
During the first quarter of 2021, the brand’s sales grew by 120% to approximately JPY1.35bn (U$12.2m) by the first half of the year, sales were up 96% year on year.
The was driven by the key launches in the Chinese market, including its bestselling skin serums and its premium B.A. range.
Opening doors urgent priority
One of the firm’s top priorities is to continue its expansion in China, which is now the firm’s ‘most important market’.
Among its priorities, Pola Orbis said its most ‘urgent’ target is to expand consumer contact points in China.
By 2023, the company is aiming to have around 120 stores in China.
It also plans to emphasise on beauty consultation and facial treatments services, which it believes will strengthen POLA’s luxury brand positioning in the market.
At the same time, the company will work to strengthen the brand’s e-commerce and digital marketing capabilities to ramp up its brand awareness campaign. One of the channels the firm is planning to explore more is live commerce.
Lastly, POLA will focus on growing its travel retail business, which remains an important channel despite the sluggish international travel.
At the beginning of the year, the company established the Pola Orbis Travel Retail business (POTRL) in Hong Kong to grow its business in China’s travel retail market.
In July, the brand made its entry into Hainan Island, a popular Chinese holiday destination.
The surge of domestic travellers combined with the increased non-taxable allowance and the Chinese consumers’ appetite for luxury beauty products, helped to boost POLA’s travel retail sales.
The potential of the travel retail market is pushing the company to accelerate store openings. In July, CosmeticsDesign-Asia reported that POLA is aiming to launch at least another five doors on Hainan Island alone.