Shiseido sets up PHL subsidiary, sees double-digit growth

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JAPANESE cosmetics firm Shiseido Co., Ltd. has set up a Philippine unit to strengthen its presence in the country, with the investment viewed as a bet on the growth of the domestic beauty industry.

In a briefing late Thursday, the company launched Shiseido Philippines Corp., a joint venture between Shiseido Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. and distributor Luxasia Partners Pte. Ltd.

“The middle income class is expanding. And we noticed that a lot of people love Japan, the image of Japanese brands is quite positive. So we thought it was time to establish our company in the market,” Shiseido Philippines Managing Director Koji Nakata said in the briefing at Bonifacio Global City.

Shiseido initially entered the Philippine market through a distribution deal in 1990. The company subsequently launched upscale cosmetic brands Nars and Laura Mercier.

Its portfolio also includes fragrances such as Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Saab, Issey Miyake, and Narciso Rodriquez, as well as cosmetic, healthcare, and personal care products.

With an increased presence in the Philippines, Mr. Nakata said the company expects sales to grow at a double-digit pace this year. He declined to give a detailed projection.

The company is banking on its Prestige business, or its upscale brands division, to be one of the main drivers of growth.

Shiseido is also counting on the introduction of mass market brand Senka, whose product line includes facial cleansers priced at about P300. The company will officially launch the brand by end-October.

The company currently has 27 counters located inside shopping malls. Asked if it plans to add more, Mr. Nakata said it will depend on finding suitable locations.

“If we can find the best locations… maybe we can add some counters in the near future,” Mr. Nakata said.

Shiseido Asia Pacific President and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Philippe Charrier added that strong foot traffic in shopping malls will help boost sales moving forward.

“I think the shopping malls are amazing, they drive a lot of traffic in the weekends and I think this is a very good environment for our brands,” Mr. Charrier said in the same briefing.

While its products are more expensive than those on offer from domestic brands, Mr. Nakata said the company expects current patrons of domestic brands to be future customers.

“The make-up user is expanding. They will be our potential customers for the future, because in the future they want to use more high-quality and prestige brands,” Mr. Nakata said. — Arra B. Francia