Founded 10 years ago, Chinese group Ulike soon conquered the Asian market by offering a unique home hair removal solution using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). This top-of-the-range electrical device is claimed to offer safe, high-performance, precise application.

“Every year, we developed a new, more powerful, better-designed generation, as Apple did with the iPhone, for example. And it is now the 6th generation. This helped us get 70% market shares in China and 50% in South Korea. In North America, where we have been present for two years, the brand quickly got ranked number one”, says Wanfen Xia, Director Europe and Middle East.

Professional care at home

Ulike’s success is based on a patented skin cooling technology called Sapphire Ice Cooling, which guarantees the safety and efficacy of hair removal. The synthetic sapphire and its system diffuse the pulsed light and disintegrate the hair bulb, while dissipating the heat with a cooling effect. “The aim is to bring professional quality to your home”, notes the Director.

“We are the only brand to integrate this salon technology into a small machine. Thanks to our sapphire part, which has very low thermal conductivity, the temperature on the skin surface is maintained at 20°C, whereas it can go up to 70°C with other devices”, she adds.

Ranked no. 3 in Europe at the end of the year?

In recent years, Ulike achieved a strong turnover growth, reaching EUR 1.3 billion in 2023. There are now three brands: Ulike accounts for half of the sales volume, Gemo has adopted a high-end, anti-ageing positioning based on the radiofrequency technology, with products between EUR 1,200 and EUR 1,600, and Jmoon offers more affordable hair removal and anti-ageing devices for a younger public. Since 2023, it has been present on the European market with the Ulike long-lasting hair removal device, priced between EUR 300 and EUR 400.

The group counts 1,800 employees worldwide, with four factories and two R&D centers, a team of 44 researchers and more than 300 innovation patents. 30% of annual profits are invested in R&D.

“The aim is to cover Europe as a whole, focusing on three key countries, i.e. France, the UK, and Germany, to reach the third rank by the end of 2024, with a sales target of EUR 50 million. We have set up a multi-channel distribution strategy, because as a beauty tech expert, it is important to get to department stores and beauty chain stores to strengthen our positioning", says Wanfen Xia.

For the time being, the Ulike Air 2 and Air 3 IPL hair removal devices are available from the brand’s official website and from Amazon. The group aims to be soon available in large specialist stores, such as Darty, Fnac and Boulanger in France, as well as on platforms like VeePee and Showroom Privé. The partnership signed with DFS Travel Retail, owned by LVMH, led to a presence in the Hong Kong Beauty Collection area last December, and Macao will soon follow, while a pop-up at La Samaritaine is being discussed in the near future.

“Our job consists in differentiating channels with different products and offerings”, specifies the Director.

To establish its own credibility, Ulike will invest two million euros in a communication campaign in France, including TV advertising, PR, and the digital channel, and 10 million in Germany and the UK.