Robinson skips price war with cosmetic brands from Korea

BackSep 14, 2010

Robinson Department Store plans to launch at least four cosmetics brands from Korea by the end of this year to cash in on the kimchi fever and avoid a price war.    

"We want to be competitive. We however don't want to enter into the discount market, but rather provide more added value such as free make-up service to customers," Gerard McGurk, senior vice president for merchandising, said yesterday.

Robinson wants to differentiate itself from other department stores, which have employed price-cutting as their key strategy to draw shoppers.

The local leading department store chain has selected Clio as its first make-up brand from Korea to be sold exclusively at its stores. Imported by Feresa Trading Thailand, about 102 Clio products will be available at four branches in the initial phase this year - Rachadaphisek, Rattanathibet, Rangsit and Ramindra - and in 12 stores next year.

The company expects its cosmetics department to rack up sales growth of 13 per cent this year, well ahead of the market's 4-5-per-cent pace.

Skincare products account for 60 per cent of cosmetics sales at Robinson, followed by make-up at 25 per cent and fragrance products for the rest.

Robinson targets total sales growth of 16-17 per cent this year. Major drivers are women's fashion products such as apparel, handbags, shoes and leather goods. The company is witnessing brisk cosmetics sales upcountry.

Robinson would launch four make-up brands from Korea, including Clio, and two skincare house brands this year, followed by two more cosmetics brands next year.

"There is a gap in the market for Korean cosmetics brands, which are hot and trendy. We want to fill that gap," McGurk said.

"We also want to create a destination for cosmetics products and services by increasing the range of offers to consumers. The move will allow customers to get brands and products for every single budget and lifestyle, from prestige to mass brands," he said.

Robinson carries about 200 brands in its cosmetics department, mostly on consignment.

The company introduced its first house cosmetics brand David Jones two years ago. Sales of exclusive and house products contribute only 1 per cent to sales of its cosmetics department.

Tikumporn Lau, managing director of Feresa Trading Thailand, said Clio would be the company's first cosmetics brand to be distributed exclusively via sales counters in the cosmetics sections of Robinson department stores.

"We have been importing more than 10 cosmetics brands from Korea. The products have been distributed to consumers via Boots heath and personal care stores and cosmetics shops opened by our franchisees," she said.

 Feresa expects to achieve Bt5 million in sales from Clio cosmetics this year and up to Bt20 million next year.


14 September 2010


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