Record sales: Beauty tech firm APR Corp doubling down on sustainability initiatives and global expansion

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

APR, the firm behind K-beauty brands like medicube and April Skin, recorded its highest ever annual overseas sales. ©APR Corp
APR, the firm behind K-beauty brands like medicube and April Skin, recorded its highest ever annual overseas sales. ©APR Corp

Related tags K-Beauty sustainable beauty Sales Sustainability

South Korea-based beauty tech firm APR Corp is strengthening its sustainability strategy in multiple ways, while accelerating its global expansion efforts after recording the highest ever annual overseas sales.

APR​, the company behind brands like medicube and April Skin, was listed on the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) in February, on the back of record-breaking overseas sales in the past financial year.

Since 2021, APR has been promoting participation in its “Sustainable medicube” campaign, an empties-collection initiative that rewards points worth KRW300 (USD0.22) for every bottle submitted.

This is part of its efforts to ensure resource circulation and sustainability of the beauty industry through the use of eco-friendly materials, as it seeks to become a company that practises environmental responsibility together with its customers.

“Up to March 2024, more than 40,000 empty bottles had been recovered, and the cumulative accumulated points paid out exceeded KRW12 million (USD8,900).

“The collected bottles are recycled through a professional recycling company, contributing to the reduction of environmental pollution,” ​the firm said.

In addition, recyclable cushioning packing materials, such as paper boxes, PadPak paper, peel packs, and Geami WrapPak, are used to prevent product damage during logistics transport.

Some of its packaging, which use soy ink and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials with high plant content, also contribute to sustainable forest-resource management.

In terms of products, April Skin has a line of vegan products that have obtained the internationally recognised “EVE Vegan” certification.

The certification is issued by France’s Expertise Vegane Europe (EVE) following a strict verification process of manufacturers and products that exclude ingredients of animal origin and are cruelty-free.

“As the introduction of eco-friendly management is essential for the beauty industry to have a sustainable future, we are exploring various strategies such as vegan certification, plastic reduction, and the launch of refill products. We also plan to showcase our brand ethics and authenticity through systematic implementation of sustainability initiatives.”

At the same time, APR is striving to create an environmental-protection culture within the company by hiring sustainable landscaping personnel to improve the work environment, as well as encouraging its executives and employees to use the in-house tumblers instead of disposable items.

Stellar sales

According to its business report published on March 21, APR recorded its best ever performance in overseas markets last year, achieving sales of KRW205.2bn (USD151m).
This figure includes sales from overseas subsidiaries, e-commerce platforms, distributors, and other channels, and makes up 39.2% of total sales (KRW523.8bn or USD386m) in 2023, growing 42.8% compared to 2022.

It also underscores APR’s overseas sales growth for four consecutive quarters.

Notably, the US reported the highest sales of KRW67.9bn (USD50m) among all of the company’s overseas markets, which is also the highest ever in this market, growing 127.3% year-on-year.

“Led by medicube’s Age-R Booster H, the popularity of beauty devices has continued to rise. The Black Friday promotion held in November last year hit the jackpot, breaking the record for the largest monthly sales.”

China and Hong Kong, which together generated 34% of APR’s overseas sales, came in second behind the top-ranked US market (33%).

In particular, 16% of the sales occurred in Hong Kong, where interest in K-beauty and beauty devices is said to have risen significantly.

Additionally, Japan contributed to 16% of sales due to the increasing popularity of K-content and consequently K-beauty, while sales in other countries accounted for the remaining 17%.

These results have been attributed to the company’s “global company mall” strategy.

As of March 2024, the online mall’s membership has exceeded 1.9m.

Since its establishment, APR has emphasised on providing differentiated benefits to the mall members, and has maintained the same policy for its overseas platforms.

Moreover, the K-wave has spurred a “significant growth” in subscriber count and sales volume on APR’s overseas malls, which the firm expects to be able to evolve beyond online stores into brand platforms.

Going forward, APR plans to strengthen its global influence by expanding customer contact points both online and offline. For instance, the company held a medicube pop-up store in Hong Kong and New York last month.

“Thanks to consumers worldwide who recognise our efforts toward innovative beauty tech, we were able to record our highest overseas performance ever. As we have been aiming for the global market since our inception, we will continue to accelerate efforts in targeting the overseas markets.”

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