The health and beauty specialist retailers channel enjoyed robust value sales growth in 2018 and is expected to sustain the positive momentum throughout the forecast period. With the consumption upgrading trend penetrating second- and third-tier cities, consumer attitudes towards cosmetics are shifting from price orientated to brand driven.
The beauty specialist store is undergoing a restructuring nudged by double attacks: e-commerce is dragging customers away with its price advantage and the rising rent and operating costs in offline is squeezing the margin. Inevitably, value-added service becomes a selling point for offline retailers, as there is no differential between online and offline from the products aspect.
As the New Retail model has been significantly impacting the offline stores, pharmacies as traditional players are also seeking ways to embrace this inevitable trend. Despite opening online stores, offline retailers tend to extend accessibility by typing up with matured delivery apps.
Watson (Group) HK maintained its first place within the fragmented health and beauty specialist retailers landscape in 2018, enlarging the gap from the second place which had narrowed for several years. The positive performance mainly resulted from brand reimaging and store renovation, aimed at bringing the younger generation back.
With China’s rapidly growing beauty market and developing of e-commerce, foreign brands are more willing to open Tmall flagship stores as a stepping stone. Tmall as the largest B2C e-commerce platform has been granted preferential trade treatment by the government, allowing foreign brands to build virtual stores and ship products into the country before establishing a physical presence.
Innisfree Corp continued to enjoy remarkable double-digit value growth in 2018, achieving a network of more than 500 outlets in 2018. Even though many other single-brand beauty specialist retailers slow down their pace upon opening new outlets and even move away from offline stores to online, Innisfree is still expanding its physical stores.
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