Kao Corporation has opened their first cosmetics counter at the Hailu duty-free shopping complex in Sanya, a popular destination for tourism and business in the south of China’s Hainan Island. The counter will sell mainly items from Kao’s prestige brands Sensai and est, with an exclusive sales area dedicated to est Biomimesis Veil, a popular range in China.

The Hailu duty-free shopping complex is a spacious mall situated in Sanya city on Hainan Island. The sales counter will be selling products from Kao’s leading prestige brands, Sensai and est, in a 40-square-meter space reserved in Hailu’s prestige cosmetics zone.

The Japanese group intends to use this new duty-free sales base as springboard for a retail expansion in other parts of Hainan Island and elsewhere in China, with plans for full-scale participation in the rapidly expanding Chinese duty-free market.

Rapidly growing market

Indeed, the Chinese duty-free market has been growing rapidly in recent years. With higher domestic demand generated by the Covid-19 pandemic and an easing of retail taxes, sales on Hainan Island rose sharply in 2020. Further growth is expected in 2021 onward, as more large-scale duty-free complexes open in various locations on the island.

Once the first sales counter opens on Hainan Island, Kao will establish more outlets in China’s duty-free market at a growing pace, positioning itself in both airports and inner city stores. Numerically speaking, Kao targets the opening of twenty sales outlets in the next few years. With every new opening, more potential customers will come into first-hand contact with Kao’s prestige brands,” said Masayuki Akahori, Director of the Travel Retail Department at Kao Corporation’s Cosmetics Business.