South Korea: Cosmetics group desires extra Muslim clients

Slammed by a political standoff with China earlier this 12 months, South Korea’s greatest cosmetics maker is making an attempt to construct new markets in Asia by launching merchandise that attraction to Muslim clients.

Amorepacific Group’s journey retail gross sales fell by 40% within the quarter that resulted in June, when Chinese language vacationers were unofficially barred from visiting South Korea throughout a dispute over a missile protection system.

The stoop underscored simply how a lot the conglomerate was leaning on China, which accounted for 90% of its abroad income final 12 months.

The group, which owns high make-up manufacturers resembling Laneige, Sulwhasoo and Innisfree, is now planning to increase past its speedy neighborhood with the purpose of tripling gross sales in Southeast Asia by 2020.

Meaning taking account of the area’s cultural and ethnic variations, together with catering to Muslim girls in international locations resembling Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Related: South Korea firms’ China nightmare may be coming to an end

“We’re including much more range,” Jennifer Rho, Amorepacific’s senior vp of group technique, advised CNNMoney. That features increasing the product vary with make-up extra suited to darker pores and skin tones and the cultural nuances of Islam.

For instance, since many Muslim girls wash their faces earlier than prayers 5 instances a day, the corporate is rolling out new face wash and lighter make-up that is simpler to take off, Rho stated.

Market analysis has proven that Muslim girls who put on hijabs gravitate towards extra vivid colours, resembling darkish lipsticks and inexperienced eyeshadows, to intensify the “areas that may be proven,” in response to Rho. That is a departure from refined shades like coral pink which have lengthy been favored in South Korea.

Amorepacific manufacturers have additionally tweaked their basis formulation to go well with the area’s tropical local weather, the place girls use matte make-up to counteract extreme sweat.

Related: Why South Korea’s men are buying tons of cosmetics

The Korean agency is increasing its presence in Southeast Asia. By 2020, it is planning to open a brand new manufacturing plant in Malaysia and add 150 shops to the 250 it already has within the area.

Amorepacific can be trying into making use of for a halal certification, which might guarantee Muslim customers that components resembling pork and alcohol aren’t used whereas manufacturing merchandise.

It is also enlisting Muslim girls and social media influencers, resembling way of life blogger Nisa Kay from Malaysia, to assist get the phrase out.

Related: Americans are putting snail slime on their faces

However cornering the market might be simpler stated than finished. Southeast Asia introduced in lower than three% of Amorepacific’s income final 12 months, and rising that quantity might be a problem.

Gross sales within the area, whereas set to develop, would hardly offset the loss from China, stated Regina Hahm, a cosmetics analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities.

Amorepacific is hoping so as to add to its bold regional push with expansions within the U.S. and Center East.

The shift ought to convey that “we’re manufacturers from South Korea,” Rho stated. “However we’ve the product portfolio… that we are able to present to totally different girls with totally different backgrounds or totally different heritage.”

CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First printed November 24, 2017: eight:17 AM ET

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