Focus on specialty stores

With the aim to strengthen its overseas business, Kanebo Cosmetics is investing heavily in China, the group’s top priority overseas. The Japanese cosmetics giant, which has already build a strong presence in department stores and high-end pharmacies, is now targeting specialty stores that are developing at a fast pace, including in China’s inland second and third tier cities.

According to Kanebo, there are around 200,000 specialty beauty stores in China and they already constitute a major retail channel, in particular in smaller inland cities. In order to tap into this market, the firm will start to sell its products in around five hundred specialty stores in the cities of Sian and Chengdu, and aims to increase this number to around a thousand by the end of 2011.

China-made brand

Consistently with this retail strategy, Kanebo is launching Aqua Lunash, a new brand that has been conceived to perfectly fit with the new distribution channel. Entirely manufactured in China, Aqua Lunash targets women in their twenties, with little or no experience of cosmetic products.

Scheduled in September, the initial release of Aqua Lunash features a line of 45 items priced from 12 to 210 Chinese yuan. “Prices will be set at around the 100 RMB mark so as to make the items readily accessible to young women in this age group,” said the company in a release. The line mainly focuses on addressing complexion dullness issues, that is one of the main beauty concerns of Chinese women.

On this occasion, Kanebo will also introduce new counters that have been designed to match with the needs of specialty stores. However, the brand will be available in department stores too.