Molton Brown strengthens omnichannel capabilities as it moves to capture whitespaces in Asia

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Molton Brown has bolstered its omnichannel capabilities and is targeting untapped markets in Asia. [Molton Brown]
Molton Brown has bolstered its omnichannel capabilities and is targeting untapped markets in Asia. [Molton Brown]

Related tags kao corp Molton Brown Japan Uk Malaysia

Luxury brand Molton Brown has bolstered its omnichannel capabilities and is targeting untapped markets in Asia as it moves to capitalise on emerging opportunities.

The brand’s biggest market today is the UK – its home market. However, it has also established a strong presence in Europe, the US, as well as the Middle East.

It maintains a foothold in various Asian markets, where it sees significant opportunities for expanding its business further in the region.

“The largest potential lies in the Asian market, both in terms of total sales growth and global recognition,” ​said Mark Johnson, president of global cosmetics business AEMEA and global president of Molton Brown.

“We believe that Molton Brown has growth potential in all the markets in which it currently operates but especially in the Asian white space markets such as China, India, South Korea, and Singapore.”

Recently, the company unveiled physical retail spaces in Japan, Malaysia, and Taiwan. It is also working to strengthen its online presence as well.

“Molton Brown is driving a clear omnichannel approach with a strong retail presence and increased e-commerce availability via its direct-to-consumer business or partner platforms. It has a strong own website offering currently available in major markets, with more to come in 2024,”​ said Johnson.

“People expect a seamless customer experience, both online and in-store – with its omnichannel strategy, Molton Brown is creating a premium customer journey across all its channels, including e-commerce, wholesale, travel retail and standalone stores.”

Tried and trusted

Founded in 1971, Molton Brown is currently owned by Japanese personal care major Kao Corporation.

Together with powerhouse brands like Sensai and Curél, it has been identified by Kao as one of its 11 global brands (G11) – brands that it considers to be imperative to the company’s mid-term business strategy.

“As part of its K27 mid-term business strategy, Kao plans to grow all businesses that have the potential to become ‘Global Sharp Top’, which means categories in which we have the potential to become market leader or create added value for our consumers,”​ said Johnson.

Johnson told us that Molton Brown’s offerings respond to multiple trends in the market now, including the shift towards established and trusted brands.

“Since the pandemic we have seen that consumers lean towards brands that have a strong heritage and expertise, offer high-quality products, and are committed to sustainability.”

Moreover, Molton Brown has recognized a lucrative opportunity within the thriving fragrance market, a sector that has experienced significant growth since the onset of the pandemic.

“With its longstanding expertise in premium ingredients and partnership with renowned perfumers, Molton Brown is also now more than ever gaining enthusiasts in the premium fragrance category – specifically those who value high quality and longevity,” ​said Johnson.

“We can see that premium fragrance is one of the key growth drivers of the luxury cosmetics business in the coming years, something that Molton Brown is well placed to respond to with its fine fragrance heritage across core categories already, and now extending into eau de parfum and eau de toilette.”

‘Positive luxury’

With more emphasis on sustainability, the company has placed a great focus on “positive luxury and is strongly committed to sustainability”,​ said Johnson.

Last year, it introduced refills for some of its most iconic hand and body products and launched the Infinite Bottle – a refillable bottle made from recycled aluminium.

“By 2030, Molton Brown aims to offer 50% of what the brand sells as reusable or refillable. Sustainability and ethical practices have always been an important part of the brand's identity, and by doubling down on these efforts, Molton Brown aim to address the growing number of consumers who prioritise ethical and sustainable practices.”

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