Grabbing a share of the cosmetics market


Even in a challenging market and financial downturrn growth in Japanese market is possible for foreign manufacturers. Three European companies are making a difference in the Japanese cosmetics market according to the Eurobiz Japan magazine: The Body Shop, LUSH and L’Occitane. The Japanese health body care category is estimated at JPY 114.3 billions. The sector experienced growth in 2009 even while overall cosmetics and toiletries market remains sluggish. These European companies seem to be successful because they have recognized that Japanese people often think of European cosmetics as luxury products that are too pricy, but if a European retailer offers a unique product at an affordable price, similar to the trend in “fast fashion”, then it is very likely that the product becomes popular. For these products most of promotion is done through word of mouth with cosmetics websites and blogs.
Looking at the cosmetics sales channels I was surprisingly to see that 12% of the sold cosmetics is purchased through door to door sales, plus for foreign cosmetics companies doing business in Japan the online sales can make about 20% of the total turnover. I believe purchasing cosmetics is based a lot on trust in the quality of product, therefore I assume a lot of repeated sales shifts then to online ordering.

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤).

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