Digital deployment: J&J brand Dr.Ci:Labo taps tech at new China store amid three-year expansion push

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Dr.Ci:Labo is the number-one best-selling medical cosmetics skincare brand in Japan.
Dr.Ci:Labo is the number-one best-selling medical cosmetics skincare brand in Japan.

Related tags China Skin care

Johnson & Johnson skin care brand Dr.Ci:Labo has deployed a raft of digital innovations at its latest China store as it seeks to bridge the offline and online worlds as part of a three-year strategy to build brand awareness in the country.

Dr.Ci:Labo is the number-one best-selling medical cosmetics skincare brand in Japan, but has embarked on a three-year strategy to engage with digitally savvy Chinese shoppers.

It recently unveiled a new Online to Offline (O2O) Concept Store in Haikou, at Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex, with what it claimes is an ‘immersive, digital-powered shopper experience.’

At the heart of the concept lies Dr.Ci:Labo’s ethos of Omotenashi​ – the Japanese philosophy of hospitality – in order to deliver personalised skincare insight and guidance for every skin type.

The firm stated: “Visitors to Dr.Ci:Labo’s O2O Concept Store are immediately welcomed into the brand universe and the spirit of Omotenashi by Dr. Shiropy, the digital personification of the brand’s founder Dr. Shirono. On a full height digital screen, Dr. Shiropy introduces shoppers to the mixed-reality journey, powered by a WeChat Mini Program accessed through an instore QR code. Throughout the journey the AR Dr. Shiropy delivers help and guidance, strengthening the overall Omotenashi experience.”

The WeChat Mini Program also offers a gamification feature.By collecting the three key ingredients of SW377 on the game, users are entitled to a Dr. Shiropy Luggage Tag and they stand a chance to win a full-sized bottle of the product.

Believed to be the world’s biggest duty-free complex, the site includes more than 30,000 sq m of dedicated cosmetics and perfumes space, featuring brands such as Shiseido, Dior and Estée Lauder

The vast 280,000 sq m site was officially opened last month by China Duty Free Group (CDFG) featuring more than 800 international and domestic brands. 

Big brands

Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder, La Mer, Cle de Peau Beaute are among the major players to open stores, alongside a further 10 exclusive beauty brands for Hainan, such as Sulwhasoo, Laneige and Hera.

Notable firsts include the debut spa experience in global travel retail for brands such as Guerlain and Givenchy.

In relation to the Dr.Ci:Labo store, ​Michelle Tong, Regional Business Development Manager Travel Retail, said: “Hainan is  a strategic market in our three-year expansion plan to engage with digital-savvy Chinese shoppers. Extending our brand’s physical footprint with an O2O concept is a natural step forward for us in partnership with China Duty Free Group, whose ambition and vision for the retail experiences of the future align closely with Dr.Ci:Labo’s digital vision.

“Leveraging on technology, we offer shoppers a game-changing travel retail experience while providing our hallmark Omotenashi care and clinical skincare equity in a seamless fashion combining the best of the online world – ease, convenience, digital engagement – with the power of the offline, physical world.”

As is common in the channel, the store features a number of travel retail exclusive products, including a number of gift sets exclusive to CDFG. These are helmed by the cult favourite 377 range – including bundle sets, alongside TREX products in the brightening series, regimen sets and anti-aging sets, including the iconic ACG Enrich Lift EX.

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