Category Archives: Asia

Retail notes from Shanghai: [Show Report] China Beauty Expo 2019

This was my third visit to China Beauty Expo, the biggest C&T trade fair in mainland China, and every year the show becomes more manageable. Don’t get me wrong, it is still huge: in 2019 there were more than 3,500 exhibitors, 27 exhibition halls and 50 VIP halls (mostly tents) on a quare footage of 260,000 sq m. CBE is also still super crowded – tickets are free and anyone can attend, i.e. there’s no trade visitor accreditation; simply turn up, fill in a form and that’s it. However, I now know what to expect and that’s makes things much easier.

China Beauty Expo 2019 took place in the Shanghai New Exhibition Centre (SNIEC) in Pudong, just like last year. I do like the layout of this trade show centre – it might be massive but the triangular shape of the fair grounds make navigation easy and you can just cut across the grassy enclosure if you’re in a hurry. For more info on SNIEC, the hall layout and what the whole CBE experience is like, check out my show reports of China Beauty Expo 2017 and China Beauty Expo 2018.

And now, click on the link below to read more about China Beauty Expo 2019 and my favourite brand discoveries!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Asia, Brand Profiles, Events, Industry News, Show Reports, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

Retail notes from Seoul: [Show Report] Cosmobeauty 2019

This was my third visit to Cosmobeauty Seoul and I must say, this trade fair is getting better every year. The 2019 edition took place from 9th-11th April 2019 and it was so busy; it definitely felt much more crowded than last year. Official figures confirm this: according to the organisers 52,376 visitors attended the 2019 trade fair (last year’s Cosmobeauty attracted 50,673 attendees). And, on a personal note, there were so many Westerners/foreigners amongst the visitors this year!

I remember my first Cosmobeauty in 2016: there were just a handful of foreign faces then. I guess it goes to show how K-beauty continues to influence the international beauty industry. Or something. Anyway, if you’re interested in the trade show review of my previous visits, you can check out Cosmobeauty 2016, Cosmobeauty 2017 or Cosmobeauty 2018.

And here are the official facts and figures about Cosmobeauty 2019! The exhibition space reached 11,088 m2 this year and there were around 520 exhibition booths with a total of 373 exhibitors from 13 countries – a significant increase compared to the 2018 edition of the show with its 342 exhibitors. The majority of exhibitors – 308 companies – were Korean, the remaining 65 companies came from Europe, China, South East Asia and the US.

Cosmobeauty 2019 also felt a lot more trend-driven than the previous shows – exhibitors came from the organic/natural sector and from the green/clean category; there were several young millennial-style brands and quite a few start-ups. The organisers also added some exciting features in 2019: a new section was the “Rookies of the Year” showcase which introduced interesting new exhibitors and their product innovations. Altogether a very exciting show!

And now let’s jump straight in! Click on the link below to read about some of my favourite brand discoveries.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Asia, Industry News, Retail, Show Reports, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

Retail notes from Seoul: [Show Report] Getitbeautycon 2019

This was a bit of an impromptu trade show visit! Visiting the big Chicor flagship in Gangnam I discovered Korean skin care brand Toun28, started following them on Instagram and saw in their Instastories that they were exhibiting at a COEX event called Getitbeautycon this weekend.

Then I googled Getitbeautycon and found out that this is an annual beauty expo organised by popular Korean cosmetics reality show, Get it Beauty. As you might expect Getitbeautycon is a lifestyle-ey event rather than a serious trade show – hordes of Korean beauty bloggers, Q&As with celebs and influencers, brand promotions and activities, live makeovers and workshops, freebies and selfie corners; you get the idea : )

I really wanted to get the opportunity to look at the Toun28 products in more detail (the Chicor only had a partial selection) so I decided to check out the expo, and I’m so glad I went! I spent most of Sunday at the show and really enjoyed myself, discovered some interesting new brands and even met some old favourites.

Click on the link below for pictures and brand discoveries from the 2019 edition of Getitbeautycon! Spoiler alert: if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen these brands in my feed already. However, I can be so much more expansive in a blog article than within the restrictive Instagram word limit : )

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Asia, Brand Profiles, Events, Industry News, Retail, Show Reports, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

Retail notes from Tokyo: [Show Report] Cosme Tokyo 2019

Cosme Tokyo is getting bigger and better every year. The 2019 edition of Japan’s largest trade show for retail cosmetics featured 780 exhibitors from 35 countries. And over 25.000 visitors attended during the three days of Cosme Tokyo and its sister fair, Cosme Tech.

It was one busy and very cool show! My Insta feed shows almost 30 mini brand/product profiles which is usually my Cosmoprof Asia average! Anyway, it was an exciting trade fair: I met a lot of interesting new brands (and some old favourites). And if you’re interested: here is my Cosme Tokyo 2018 show report.

For more on my favourite brand discoveries and the key trends at Cosme Tokyo 2019, click on the link below!

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Asia, Brand Profiles, Retail, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

Retail notes from Hong Kong: [Store Profile] Mi Ming Mart

On my very last afternoon in Hong Kong I visited beauty retailer Mi Ming Mart‘s Causeway Bay outlet.

It was actually a recommendation by someone I had met at Cosmoprof Asia trade show the previous day: Sophie from Hong Kong-based organic beauty distributor Aura HK – the company’s portfolio includes European brands like Dr. Hauschka, Melvita, Sanoflore, Flow Cosmetics and Avril – suggested that I check out Mi Ming Mart, a clean beauty store chain founded by a Chinese beauty KOL (Key Opinion Leader = Influencer). It sounded intriguing (and I do love me some female entrepreneurship!) so I went – and Mi Ming Mart is indeed a fascinating retailer.

The first Mi Ming Mart was opened in 2009, so the company has been a mainstay of Hong Kong’s niche beauty retail scene for almost a decade. Founder Erica Yuen is a former beauty queen turned social media icon/celebrity who was also active in local politics between 2011 and 2016 – she is the co-founder of Hong Kong’s radical pro-democracy party Power Voters and from 2013 to 2016 served as chairperson of the pro-democracy People Power party before focusing on further expanding her retail business.

Which she seems to have been doing successfully: in February 2018 Mi Ming Mart was listed on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) of Hong Kong’s stock exchange. According to parent company Inwell International’s annual report, group revenue grew 19.3% to HKD 123.4 million in the financial year ending March 2018 – a result which can be traced back to the opening of three new retail stores (Quarry Bay, Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O) and the strong performance of skin care sales. The company’s gross profit climbed 18.4% to HKD 74.8 million over the same period.

For more information on the company and the store click on the link below!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Asia, Brand Profiles, Industry News, Retail, Store Profiles, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

Retail notes from Hong Kong: [Show Report] Cosmoprof Asia 2018

The 23rd edition of Cosmoprof Asia was amazing and super busy. It was my fifth visit to Asia-Pacific’s largest C&T trade show and by now I know many of the exhibiting beauty brands and companies.

Cosmoprof Hong Kong is a great place to meet up with people because almost everyone in the Asia-related international beauty industry tends to be there. The trade show has become a very social event for me, with lots of meetings and coffee dates. It’s so much fun catching up with everyone!

And although this means less time to walk the floor and check out exhibitors and brands, Cosmoprof Asia – the finished cosmetics/retail beauty part of the C&T trade show – is so big that you never manage to see everything anyway. There are only three days allocated to the HKCEC trade show and even if you start at 9.30am sharp (which is when the halls open) and stay until 6pm, the days are never long enough.

Still, I managed to post a total of 30 Instagram pics/brand profiles during those three days – well done me! – and now I’ll introduce the most interesting of these brands (plus a few others that didn’t make it into my Insta coverage) in more detail.

Click on the link below for more info!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Asia, cosmeticsbusiness.com, Industry News, Retail, Show Reports, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

Retail notes from Seoul: A new era of beauty retail [Boots, Chicor, Lalavla, Olive Young]

The first stop on my Asia trip this May was Seoul, for Cosmobeauty 2018 trade show (check out my trade show review here) but also to do my customary store research. This is something I do whenever I travel; even if I have visited the country/city before.

I visit as many health & beauty retailers as possible; at least one chain per distribution channel: drugstore, perfumery, department store, organic store (or equivalent) and whatever specific retail channel a particular country might have.

And then I spend hours in-store until the security staff and/or sales personnel is starting to give me suspicious looks ; ). I’m checking out the products that are displayed on the shelves: are there any interesting new beauty launches – any new key ingredients? Product types? Packaging designs?

Does the retailer have any own label brands and if so, what do they look like? Is there just one own label range or a diversified portfolio of proprietary product ranges? What is the overall percentage of domestic brands vs. international brands? And what do the retail chains look like; do they offer any in-store services, features or activities to make shopping in a bricks ´n mortar store more exciting?

I also take pictures, usually discreetly because retailers in Asia often forbid you to photograph their products or store interiors. Case in point: Chicor and Olive Young (more info in the article!); in one particular Olive Young store I was told no less than three times (by three different staff) that taking photos was not allowed! Although I am a law-abiding citizen by nature I tend to disregard these strictures and as a result I’ve become very good at clandestine photography : )

This was my fifth visit to Seoul and after the first couple of days I was struck by how rapidly the Korean beauty retail market is changing at the moment. And it all started less than two years ago.

There are three (!) new beauty retail chains on the market which offer a European-style perfumery multi-brand concept (and for the Korean beauty market this is is nothing less than revolutionary – again, more info on this in the article!) while drugstore market leader Olive Young is hastily refurbishing its stores across the capital in a scramble to keep up with all of the new competitors.

One week was barely enough to visit all of these new retailers and because so much is happening in the Korean beauty market at the moment, I think it is time for an overview article on all of the new beauty retail chains (with plenty of high-res pictures, of course).

Click on the link below!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Asia, Industry News, Retail, Store Profiles, Travel, Trends

Retail notes from Shanghai: [Show Report] China Beauty Expo 2018

A few days ago I returned from Shanghai, the last stop on my three-week research trip to Asia. My main focus here was China Beauty Expo, the most important beauty trade show in mainland China.

However, I also managed to visit two new bars (Sober Company and Woo Bar; both very much worth a visit!) and explored the very cool M50 Shanghai Art District on Monashan Road (an old factory site converted into an art/gallery space. I have now become a big fan of contemporary Chinese porcelain art!). I also spent a considerable amount of time just walking around the city centre streets, taking pictures of Shanghai’s surreal-looking and amazingly varied cityscape.

But back to the trade show! The 23rd edition of China Beauty Expo took place from 22nd to 24th May 2018 in Shanghai’s Pudong International Exhibition Centre (SNIEC) – for a more detailed description of the exhibition centre’s layout (with pictures) check out my China Beauty Expo 2017 article.

My impression was that this year’s CBE was somehow more structured (a little better organised, perhaps?) and also more international than CBE 2017 – there was a special registration gate for „foreign visitors/media“ which they didn’t have last year (at least not that I remember!) and there seemed to be more Western beauty brands amongst the exhibitors.

Don’t get me wrong, CBE was still overwhelming; bustling, chaotic and completely crowded with visitors, including families and children – tickets are free and anyone can visit; you don’t need trade visitor credentials. The halls featuring primarily Chinese exhibitors were especially popular amongst the local visitors – most of the companies offered free skin care treatments, raffles and freebies.

But this year the show felt much more manageable; probably because I knew what to expect and I also knew which subway station was the best option for the trade show! If you’re interested: it’s the last stop on Line 7, Huanmu Road, which connects to Kerry Parkway shopping center and the Kerry hotel. So much more pleasant than Longyang Road which the official website tells you is the closest station for SNIEC.

But now let’s jump straight in! Click on the link below to read more about some of my favourite brand discoveries at China Beauty Expo 2018.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Asia, Industry News, Retail, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

Retail notes from Seoul: [Show Report] Cosmobeauty 2018

The 2018 edition of Korean C&T trade Cosmobeauty Seoul took place from 9th-11th May in Seoul’s COEX exhibition centre. It was my third Cosmobeauty visit (for more information, check out my reviews for Cosmobeauty 2016 and Cosmobeauty 2017) and – just like last year – it was a very worthwhile trade show.

I noticed more Western faces this year (and they were not just buyers) and many international K-Beauty/Asian beauty bloggers. It was an exciting two days. And without further ado: click on the link below for a list of my favourite brand discoveries (and re-discoveries!) of Cosmobeauty 2018.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Asia, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

SPC Magazine: Cosmoprof Asia 2017, Cosmetokyo 2018 and Germany Country Profile 2017

Here are the PDFs of my three most recent articles for SPC Magazine: show reviews of Cosmoprof Asia 2017 (February 2018 edition) and Cosmetokyo 2018 (April 2018 edition), plus one of my favourite SPC repeat assignments: Germany Country Profile 2017; a round-up of what’s been happening in the German beauty retail market over the past year!

I’ve just consulted my files and this is my ninth Germany retail report (2006-2009 and then again 2013-2017). Wow. Back in 2006/2007, department store chain Karstadt was still called Karstadt Quelle, perfumery retailer Douglas still belonged to the Kreke family and drugstore chain Schlecker was still an aggressive force in the German drugstore channel. How times have changed…

Anyway, enjoy the articles. Copyright: HPCi Media.

Leave a comment

Filed under Asia, cosmeticsbusiness.com, Industry News, Retail, Show Reports, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends