‘Unrivalled competitiveness’: Shinsegae builds on booming imported cosmetics business through successive distribution deals

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Shinsegae has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Austrian skin care brand Susanne Kaufmann. ©Shinsegae International
Shinsegae has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Austrian skin care brand Susanne Kaufmann. ©Shinsegae International

Related tags Shinsegae International Korea Business

South Korean conglomerate Shinsegae International is accelerating the expansion of its imported cosmetics business by striking various exclusive distribution deals for popular overseas brands and those with high growth potential.

Shinsegae announced on December 3 that it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Austrian skin care brand Susanne Kaufmann for the South Korean market.

With this, the company has increased its number of imported cosmetics brands to 22.

This year alone, Shinsegae introduced makeup brand Laura Mercier, luxury fashion house courrèges’ fragrance line, and niche perfume brand Heely from France, as well as luxury fragrance brand Culti Milano, hair care brand Davines, and prestige cosmetics brand Dolce & Gabbana Beauty from Italy.

“Starting with global niche perfumes, we have expanded into skin care, makeup, body and hair care etc., securing unrivalled competitiveness in the imported cosmetics business — a major sector with sales growing by more than double digits every year.

“We are steadily strengthening our beauty division. In addition to famous overseas brands, we are discovering and importing new brands that may be unfamiliar to domestic consumers but have high growth potential,” ​the firm said.

Named after its founder, Susanne Kaufmann is known in the US and Europe as a wellness spa brand whose products are developed and made using plant-based raw materials from the Austrian Alps.

The brand places emphasis on combining natural ingredients, bio-science technology, and sustainability to bring about quality products with high efficacy for various skin types.

Its signature product, Nourishing Day Cream, contains rosehip seed oil and hyaluronic acid derivatives to provide hydration and a soothing effect for dry and sensitive skin. Beeswax and squalane oil are added to prevent moisture loss, while sunflower oil and vitamin E from tomato fruit extract nourish the skin and help maintain elasticity.

Besides skin care, the brand also has body, bath and hair product lines to offer comprehensive care.

“Throughout the entire process from manufacturing to packaging and delivery, Susanne Kaufmann takes sustainability into account. For example, it uses glass containers and refill packaging to reduce waste. Shinsegae expects to capture the growing demand for sustainable beauty with the launch of this brand.”

In South Korea, Susanne Kaufmann products are available at Shinsegae’s e-commerce platform SIVILLAGE, beauty select shop La Perva, and online marketplaces such as SSG.com and Naver Store.

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Perfume powerhouse

In November, Shinsegae International inked an exclusive distribution deal for the full line-up of Courrèges Parfum in South Korea.

This marked the expansion of its fragrance portfolio to 12 brands, which include Diptyque, Byredo, Santa Maria Novella, and Memo Paris.

Late French designer André Courrèges debuted his first perfume in 1971, a decade after launching his fashion brand courrèges.

Courrèges Parfum’s well-loved bottle design is characterised by a simple and sleek look with the brand’s classic “AC” logo engraved on it.

For “The Colorama” collection, all the “three-dimensional, delicately carved” containers are manufactured locally in France using 40% recycled glass.

The design is inspired by the colours and texture of courrèges’ iconic vinyl jacket, introducing the concept of “perfume styling” — a fusion of fashion and fragrance.

According to Shinsegae, the pink La fille de l’air is a global best-seller that encapsulates the floral scent of neroli and the fruity scent of orange blossom.

There are a total of seven scents, all of which are said to be genderless, and can be worn by both men and women.

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