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SPC Magazine: Cosmoprof Asia 2015

And here is the PDF article of my Cosmoprof Asia 2015 show report for SPC Magazine (SPC Magazine, February 2016 (Vol 89 No 2); copyright: HPCi Media). You can also find the article on Enjoy!

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CBM Magazine: Retail Focus articles from 2015

Here is some more reading material! My editorial projects also include the monthly Retail Focus series that I write for HPCi Media’s CBM Magazine. These are short one-page company profiles of interesting C&T retailers. The Retail Focus articles cover the big international chains but we also feature smaller or regional beauty companies: different countries and distribution channels, tiny chains and large retail empires, online stores and bricks & mortar perfumeries, specialist stores, drugstore retailers, department stores, pharmacies…when I am travelling I frequently come across interesting beauty stores and these often appear as Retail Focus articles in CBM Magazine a few months later.

And here is a list of 2015 articles: the year started with a company profile on French department store chain Monoprix. In February I wrote about Japanese beauty retailer @cosme, March it was was German drugstore chain Budnikowsky’s turn, and in April  we featured German drugstore retailer Müller. May: Paris-based niche perfumery Nose, June: Japanese organic beauty retailer Cosmekitchen, July: Hong Kong-based C&T giant AS Watson, (two pages actually since AS Watson has such an immense retail presence!) August: UK beauty and pharmacy retailer Boots, September: perfumery chain Sasa (also from Hong Kong), October: UK online salon booking company Wahanda, November: German beauty box subscription company Glossybox (two pages again: I interviewed Glossybox founder Charles von Abercron) and December: US drugstore chain CVS Pharmacy.

And the first half of 2016 will be equally interesting (and international!): we have profiles coming up about Korean drugstore chain Olive Young, US perfumery retailer Ulta, UK-based online men’s care store Mankind, drugstore chain Superdrug (also from the UK), Korean perfumery chain Belport, London’s Selfridge’s department store, Swiss supermarket retailer Coop, and in July it will be the turn of another Japanese drugstore chain, Sundrug.

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SPC Magazine: C&T Market Report Germany 2015

And here is the annual Germany Report that I wrote for SPC Magazine last September.  It’s one of my favourite repeat assignments: an analysis of what happened in the German C&T industry over the past 12 months – retailers, brands, product launches, trends.

And 2014/2015 was a tempestuous year for the German retail industry: drugstore chains DM and Rossmann continue the battle for market leadership and Germany’s leading perfumery retailer Douglas was acquired by a Luxembourg-based investment fund.

The two biggest German department store chains, Karstadt and Kaufhof, also changed hands: Karstadt has gone to Austrian Signa group (Signa has already sold some of Karstadt’s premium stores to Italian department store retailer La Rinascente) and Kaufhof went to Canadian retail group Hudson’s Bay.

The feature appeared in the magazine’s October issue; the copyright belongs to HPCi Media/ Enjoy!

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Retail notes from Hong Kong: [Show Report] Cosmoprof Asia 2015

The last stop on my Asian tour was Hong Kong – and the big event here was, of course, Cosmoprof Asia! Not only is it the most important C&T trade show for the entire Asian region but the fair also celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015. Congratulations!

The official trade show stats for 2015 speak for themselves: there were 2,504 exhibitors from 46 countries which marks an increase of 6% compared to 2014. A total of 63,241 visitors from 119 countries attended the trade show (+ 5.5%) and there was a 7% increase in visitors from outside the Hong Kong area (including me!).

And here are some more facts and figures: there were 22 country and group pavilions (Korea was the biggest exhibitor and Chile attended for the first time), total exhibition space grew 3% to over 84,000 sq m and Italy and the US were the countries of honour because of their continued support of Cosmoprof Asia.

At the official Cosmoprof Asia press conference, organizers UBM and BolognaFiere also announced the following news: because the trade fair has grown so much over the last few years, the 2016 edition will take place in two different venues.

Cosmetics, Salon, Hair, Nails & Accessories will remain in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre; Packaging, Ingredients, Equipment, Private Label etc. will move to Asiaworld Expo. The 2016 fair dates are 15th to 17th November for Asiaworld Expo and 16th to 18th November for the Convention Centre which means that there is an extra day for visitors who want to take in both parts of the show.

But all of that is still in the future; join me now for a tour around Cosmoprof Asia 2015 featuring, in no particular order, some of my favourite brands and companies from across the world. By the way: this article is even longer than my usual trade show reports – you have been warned!

Cosmoprof intro (2)

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Retail notes from Seoul: [Store Profile] Belport [now A.G.B.)

[EDIT: 6/5/2017 – the Belport chain is now called A.G.B. (Art Goût Beauté). The flagship on Garosu-gil has also changed its name to A.G.B. The ground floor of the store still has a Jo Malone shop-in-shop but makeup brands have gone, instead there is what appears to be a MAC shop-in-shop. The spa in the basement is still there; the first floor was unfortunately closed for renovation. I think the brand portfolio might have been adjusted too, so the information in this store profile is probably no longer correct. I’m not sure why Belport reinvented itself; if anyone can shed any light on this I’d be grateful!]

[EDIT: 7/5/2019 – A.G.B. has now also gone from its location on Garosu-gil – the store name has disappeared and although there is still a shop in Belport/A.G.B.’s former retail space it’s not a perfumery any more. Which means that this store profile is now completely obsolete! Or an interesting historical document, take your pick : )]

A few days ago I visited Korean perfumery chain Belport’s flagship store in Seoul’s trendy Garosu-gil street. Garosu-gil in Sinsa neighbourhood is known for its designer boutiques, uber-stylish cafés and concept stores.

It is also one of the latest hotspots for beauty in Seoul: over the last five years or so a number of Asian and Western beauty brands have opened stores there, including Melvita from France, Kiehl’s from the US, Lush and Neil’s Yard Remedies from the UK and premium Korean brands Su:m37 and The History of Whoo.

Domestic beauty chains The Face Shop, Banila, VDL, Clio and Skin Food have also opened outlets along Garosu-gil, and there are several drugstore retailers including Olive Young, Watson and LOHBS. And exactly one year ago, Belport opened its very first store on this street.

Belport Sinsa (1)

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Retail notes from Seoul: [Show Report] International Beauty Expo Korea 2015

I arrived in Seoul, the first stop on my Asian tour, a few days ago and my goodness, it’s wonderful to be back! Luckily I don’t get troubled by jetlag when I am flying from Europe to Asia (on the way back it’s a different matter unfortunately) because I arrived on a Wednesday evening and at 10am the very next morning, the 13th International Beauty Expo Korea trade show opened its doors in COEX Convention Center.

It was an interesting show: as far as I could tell, the exhibitors were primarily salon brands and smaller Korean cosmetics labels looking for distributors. There were only a few brand names that I recognized – like Elishacoy and Incoco – but since I like discovering new beauty labels, I found plenty to occupy my attention.

Beauty Expo Korea Intro (2)

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Natural Cosmetics Conference 2015: [Show Report]

It is that time of year again: the Natural Cosmetics Conference (Naturkosmetikbranchenkongress) was in town this week! It’s an annual event which used to be held in Nuremberg but then moved to Berlin in 2011. And it’s one of my favourite industry events: two days jam-packed with interesting lectures, discussions, forums and presentations plus the chance to meet interesting people.

The Conference always offers a good mixture of topics. This year there were presentations on consumer trends, demographics and behavior, on market research and gender marketing, but also on certifications with a particular focus on the much-debated ISO guideline for natural cosmetics and on halal certification.

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Beauty International 2015: [Show Report]

From 27th to 29th March 2015 I was in Düsseldorf, visiting Beauty International, Germany’s biggest trade show for the salon, spa and wellness industry. The professional beauty sector is strong over here and the big German salon brands – like Babor, Alessandro International, LCN, Klapp, Jean D’Arcel, Kryolan or Dr. Grandel – are very successful internationally.

2015 also marked the 30th anniversary for Beauty International. According to organizers Messe Düsseldorf, 51000 visitors from 60 countries attended the trade show and there were 1400 exhibitors in total. And since Beauty International traditionally takes place in conjunction with Top Hair International, the most important German show for the hair salon industry, and the Make Up Artist Design Show, Düsseldorf’s trade show centre was practically bursting at the seams with visitors.

Beauty International 2015 (18)

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Retail notes from Seoul: [Store Profile] Olive Young Lifestyle Experience Center in Myeong-dong

[EDIT 11/5/2018 – Following a major relaunch of the Olive Young store brand across Korea, and the opening of several new (and considerably larger) Olive Young outlets in Seoul, the Myeong-Dong Lifestyle Experience Center was completely remodelled in line with Olive Young’s new look. The store looks entirely different now, with a new interior design and a different brand portfolio; more style and less hallyu. You’re therefore about to take a step into the Olive Young chain’s retail history ; )]

On my very first evening in Myeung-dong area I was randomly walking along the streets, enjoying the very special Myeung-dong evening experience: crowds of shoppers pushing along the narrow streets, music blaring from every store and restaurant, sales staff standing outside the beauty stores announcing special offers to try and lure customers inside, food stalls everywhere, more crowds, more noise…..

Then I drifted past an Olive Young store, one of the many branches that Korea’s leading drugstore retailer operates in the central Seoul area. This particular outlet looked different though, so I drifted right back to check it out. The store was much bigger than the average Olive Young retail space; new, stylish and sophisticated-looking – and indeed, as it turned out this is a new Olive Young retail format. The “Lifestyle Experience Center”, opened in 2012, is an attractive beauty concept store with an integrated café area and a strong hallyu flavour.

Olive Young Myeung-dong (40)

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Retail notes from Seoul: Capital of beauty stores

Greetings from Seoul where I’m winding up my spring trip to Asia! I spent the last two weeks in Tokyo: enjoying the city, exploring different neighbourhoods and doing some article research (I am writing a retail profile on Japanese store chain Cosmekitchen for CBM Magazine). I also visited most of the major art and design museums and galleries in the greater Tokyo area. Unlike last year’s visit, my first 2015 trip to Tokyo was culture-oriented rather than retail-focused.

In Seoul, however, I am making up for this: my visit here is all about brands, cosmetics and retail! Although this is my first trip to Korea I already know a good bit about the Korean beauty market and I’m familiar with many of the big retail brands. Korean cosmetics are popular across Asia and brands like Holika Holika, Tony Moly, Innisfree, Nature Republic, Skin Food, Etude House and Missha have a significant presence in East Asia and most of the South East Asian countries. Several of these brands also have retail boutiques in the US, by the way. And with the Korean hallyu blazing its triumphant path across the world, K-Beauty is only going to grow in importance.

Myeung-dong (12) Continue reading


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