Tag Archives: retail 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!

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Cosmoprof Bologna 2018 [Show Report]

I just returned from Bologna in Italy where I visited the 2018 edition of Cosmoprof Bologna, the largest C&T trade show in the world. This was my third time at Cosmoprof Bologna although the first visit in 2016 was a bit of an overnighter (I still managed to post a long 2016 trade show review, check it out here!). And if you’re interested: here is my Cosmoprof Bologna 2017 trade show review.

According to organizers BolognaFiere and UBM, more than 250,000 visitors attended Cosmoprof Bologna 2018 which is an increase of 11% compared to the previous year. Exhibitor numbers grew to 2,822 companies and brands from 70 regions; this figure also includes exhibitors at Cosmopack, the packaging/manufacturing/OEM side of Cosmoprof.

The format of the trade show changed again this year. There are three parts of the show: Cosmopack, Cosmo Perfumery & Cosmetics (including Cosmoprime) and Cosmo Hair & Nail & Beauty Salon (the total of these three shows is “Cosmoprof Bologna”). Cosmo Perfumery & Cosmetics focuses on retail/finished cosmetics (anything you might see in stores) while Cosmo Hair & Nail & Beauty Salon is for professional hair and nail beauty brands.

The Cosmoprime trends hall – a trade show feature that had been introduced in 2017 – returned in 2018; as did the Extraordinary Gallery which was divided into two sections this year: Extraordinary Gallery Green Selection (for indie and newcomer brands with a green positioning) and the “normal” Extraordinary Gallery; plus a Green Prime selection for masstige and luxury green-positioned brands. Still with me? Also in Cosmoprime: the Tones of Beauty showcase, an area that is dedicated to multicultural and ethnic brands.

To make things even more confusing there were two sets of opening times this year: Cosmopack, Cosmo Perfumery & Cosmetics and Cosmoprime  opened from 15th to 18th March 2018; Cosmo Hair & Nail & Beauty Salon took place from 16th to 19th March 2018.

My main focus this year was Cosmoprime (I spent 2 ½ days there; it was just so packed with interesting brands and trends!) but I also spent half a day at the Green & Natural Hall 21N and one day wandering around the “normal” Cosmo halls (including the country pavilions).

And after this rather long introduction: click on the link below to read more about my favourite brand discoveries at Cosmoprof Bologna 2018. And be warned: this is my longest trend-traveller.com trade show review yet! As always, brands are not listed in any particular order although I have added separate sections for newcomer brands and men’s brands (of which there were many!).

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Vivaness 2018: [Show Report] The biggest organic C&T show in Europe

Well, Vivaness 2018 has come and gone. The 11th edition of the trade fair took place from 14th to 17th February 2018 together with sister show Biofach, the biggest organic food trade show worldwide. I actually had to go through my old show reports to count how many times I’ve attended this trade show; 2018 was my fifth Vivaness visit.

In total there were 3,218 exhibitors at both shows (275 of these companies and brands were Vivaness exhibitors) which is a big increase compared to 2017 – check out my show reviews for Vivaness 2014, Vivaness 2015, Vivaness 2016 and Vivaness 2017.

This year’s trade fair seemed to feature more small and newcomer brands than previous years (especially in the newcomer Breeze exhibition area) which was fabulous – after all, this is one of the main reasons why I love visiting trade shows: new brand discoveries!

Which is also why this show review will focus on international niche and start-up brands (many of which you’ll recognize from my Instagram feed).  Also, with a few exceptions, these are all brands that I’ve never written about on trend-traveller, so this is quite exciting for me as well. I’ve grouped the brands by country, but in no particular order.

And now, click on the link below to read more about my favourite brand discoveries at Vivaness 2018!

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Retail notes from Hong Kong: [Show Report] Cosmoprof Asia 2017

I’ve just returned from Hong Kong where I attended Asia’s biggest C&T trade show, Cosmoprof Asia 2017.  As always, it was an exhausting and exciting three days. This year’s trade show took place from 14th to 16th November (the dates for Cosmopack were 13th to 15th November).

As a quick reminder: last year, organisers Bologna Fiere/UBM Asia decided to split the trade show into two separate entities – Cosmoprof (finished cosmetics) continues to take place in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) while sister show Cosmopack (packaging, ingredients, OEM, manufacturing) was relocated to Asia World Expo (AWE) near Hong Kong International Airport.

Since Cosmopack was moved to AWE the exhibition centre feels much less crowded although, don’t get me wrong, it was still very busy indeed. I also liked it that this year the press office was located on the ground floor next to registration, rather than tucked away in an obscure corner in one of the halls.

And here are the key facts and figures about this year’s trade show! 2,877 exhibitors from 54 countries presented their products, brands and services at Cosmoprof and Cosmopack which equals an increase of 7% compared to 2016 exhibitor figures. Total exhibition space across both locations grew 11% to 108,600 sqm and there were 25 country pavillions. The 2017 Country of Honour was Korea and around 74% of Cosmoprof/Cosmopack exhibitors were from Asia, followed by Europe with 18%, the US with 4% and Africa, the Middle East and Oceania with 1-2% respectively. According to the official post-show press release stats, a total of 83,793 visitors from 135 countries visited Cosmoprof/Cosmopack, an increase of 9% compared to 2016.

There was also an exciting new trade show section in 2017 – the Natural & Organic showcase in Hall 3. The Wellness & Spa and Discover Trends sections returned in 2017 as did the popular Boutique charity shopping area – at the Boutique booth visitors can purchase sample sized cosmetics from trade show exhibitors, with all proceeds going to a Hong Kong charity. Another new feature this year were the Cosmoprof Beauty Circle Awards. For details about the award winners, scroll down to the end of the article.

Like every year, Cosmoprof Asia was divided into four key product sectors: Perfumery & Cosmetics (Hall 1 + Concourse and Hall 5C), Beauty Salon (Hall 3E + Concourse), Hair Salon (Hall 5G + Concourse) and Nail & Accessories (Hall 5E). And, like every year, the three days of the trade show were much too short to see everything, so I concentrated on Halls 1 and 3 with a brief visit to Hall 5.

The 2017 show was my fourth visit to Cosmoprof Asia – if you’re interested you can check out my show reports for Cosmoprof Asia 2014, Cosmoprof Asia 2015 and Cosmoprof Asia 2016. And now, click on the link below to read more about my brand discoveries at Cosmoprof Asia 2017!

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OWN: Fall edition 2017

The latest issue of Organic & Wellness News has just been published – you can download the pdf for free on the company’s website. This edition includes three of my articles:

  • Asian beauty goes organic (p.12) – a round-up of some of the interesting organic newcomer brands I saw at Cosmobeauty Seoul 2017 and China Beauty Expo 2017.
  • Top 5 Organic Food Retailers in Germany (p.29-p.30) – the first installment of a new OWN article series which looks at the leading organic food retailers in various international markets.
  • Next Organic Start-Up Awards 2017 (p.30) – a round-up of the 2017 winners in this unique start-up competition.

Enjoy!

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Retail notes from Shanghai: [Brand Profile] Urtekram China / Yatikelan

The last stop on my recent Asia trip was Shanghai; China’s largest city (according to Wikipedia) and one of the country’s four so-called top tier cities. It was my first visit to Shanghai (and mainland China) and I loved it.

Granted, I only saw the (touristic) city centre – I was there for just four nights (on the 144 hour transit visa deal for EU citizens) and two of those days were spent at China Beauty Expo 2017 – but still: such a cool city!

It’s great for exploring on foot, has a fascinating cityscape, interesting buildings, stores and markets, and the food!!! And Shanghai has a fabulous bar scene, too – I wish I could have had an extra few nights to try out all the bars on my short list; thank you @asia.cocktails! – but at least I managed to visit Speak Low bar. An excellent night.

But this article isn’t about Shanghai’s tourist attractions, it is about an organic beauty brand which I discovered quite by accident in a Watsons drugstore on Nanjing East Road (Pedestrian street ). Even more surprising was the fact that I knew the brand – Urtekram is one of THE best-known and oldest Danish organic beauty brands and they have a wide European distribution. However, it seems that Urtekram (or “Yatikelan”) also has a product portfolio of around 100 sku designed specifically for the Chinese market. Exciting stuff!

Essences, toners, lotions, BB creams, CUSHION FOUNDATIONS, men’s care; face masks – these are Asian formats and textures. None of these product ranges are available anywhere in Europe (or in East Asia either; at least I haven’t seen these products in any of the beauty stores I’ve visited in Tokyo, Taipei or Hong Kong). The ranges aren’t listed on Urtekram International’s website either.

I tried to contact Urtekram China through their official Shanghai address but didn’t get a response. I can’t read a word of Mandarin, unfortunately, and Google Translate doesn’t work so well with non-Western scripts, but I did my best to dig up some info for y’all. Keep in mind that most of this info is based on assumptions, conclusions, inferences and some creative lateral thinking.  If anyone of you kind readers out there can confirm or correct the facts or has additional info about Urtekram China, please let me know and I’ll update the article accordingly.

I also took a whole bunch of photographs (I think I spent almost an hour sitting in front of the product display; the sales assistants were starting to give me distinctly nervous glances) and I bought two of the hydrating toners which are SUPERB! Loving the textures.

Anyway, this is probably the longest teaser paragraph I’ve ever written for a trend-traveller article, so click on the link below for more info and pictures!

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Retail notes from Seoul: [Show Report] Cosmobeauty 2017

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I am currently in Seoul. And I’m so happy to be back! The main event here was, of course, Cosmobeauty trade show which took place from 27th-29th April 2017. It was my second time at Cosmobeauty – you can read my show review about Cosmobeauty 2016 here – and it feels like it was a different trade show.  Although I liked Cosmobeauty 2016 I almost prefer this year’s show – and not just because there were so many new organic beauty brands to discover!

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Cosmoprof Bologna 2017 [Show Report]

Cosmoprof Bologna 2017 finished on a high note: according to organiser BolognaFiere, 2,677 exhibitors from 69 countries and more than 250,000 visitors from 150 countries attended the fair.

2017 marked the 50th edition of the world’s biggest C&T trade show and there were several new features to celebrate the anniversary. It was my second visit to Cosmoprof Bologna; you can read my show review of Cosmoprof Bologna 2016 here.

Cosmoprof Bologna is so big that it is impossible to cover the entire trade show, even if you are there for the entire five days. I decided to skip Cosmopack and the Hair and Nail halls and instead focused on Cosmoprime (Hall 19), on Hall 21 (green and natural cosmetics) and on Halls 29, 30 and 35c which is where the country pavilions are located.

And here, roughly organised by Halls but in no particular order, are some  of my favourite brand discoveries at Cosmoprof Bologna 2017!


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SPC Magazine: Show review of Cosmoprof Asia 2016

Just out in the February edition of SPC Magazine: My review of Cosmoprof Asia 2016. Enjoy!

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Vivaness 2017: [Show Report] The biggest organic C&T show in Europe

Well, Europe’s biggest organic beauty trade fair Vivaness and its companion show Biofach (the world’s biggest organic food show) have come and gone.

This year the two trade fairs took place from 15th to 18th February 2017 in Nuremberg. According to organisers Messe Nürnberg, more than 50.000 visitors from 134 countries visited the two trade shows. There were 2,785 organic exhibitors  in total (259 of these brands/companies were at Vivaness) and this year’s Country of the Year was the host country, Germany.

As always, it was an exciting and exhausting four days! This was my fourth trade show (if you’re interested: here are the Vivaness 2014, Vivaness 2015 and Vivaness 2016 articles). And now, without further ado and in no particular order, here are my favourite brand discoveries at Vivaness 2017!

vivaness-2017-8

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