Hong Kong headquartered international health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson has teamed up with L’Oréal to launch Colorlab by Watsons, a new concept makeup store in China.

Four Colorlab by Watsons stores have already opened their doors. The first one was inaugurated in Shenzen, China, in January 2018. Following its success, three further stores have opened, two in Guangzhou and one in Shanghai. Plans are in place to roll out a further 50 stores across China by the end of this year.

These new experience-based makeup stores are already proving popular, with annual sales of cosmetics up 74% since opening,” said A.S. Watsons in a release. “With the rise of online shopping and changing shopping behaviours of younger customers, the focus on innovative physical spaces and refreshing the shopping experience will help attract younger generations.

These new stores offer customers a fashionable and trendy experience-led makeup space, with access to on-hand makeup artists who can offer advice and expertise, as well as the opportunity to try out different looks and play around with colour cosmetics.

L’Oréal Paris and Maybelline, two of the most popular makeup brands under L’Oréal, occupy over 30% of Colorlab displays. In addition to L’Oréal, the stores also include Watsons own makeup brands Makeup Miracle and Collagen, as well as brands new to Watsons stores including Japanese makeup brand Kiss Me and Korean makeup brand CLIO.

According to Mintel, the Chinese beauty care market will grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 10.2% between 2017-2022 to achieve RMB (Chinese Yuan) 49,662 million by 2022.

"Makeup was identified as a huge growth area for Watsons and working with L’Oréal on the development of this new store concept meant that we had the expertise of an established makeup supplier at the forefront. Colorlab stores put the customers experience first and rather than just purchasing makeup, we wanted to give customers access to advice and expertise from skilled makeup artists, as well as the opportunity to try out different looks and play about with new products," said Malina Ngai, Group Chief Operating Officer at A.S. Watson Group.