[Seoul, Korea — May 25, 2017] Amorepacific Group today announces that its Sulwhasoo brand will open an exclusive store in Paris Galeries Lafayette in September 2017. Already one of the giants of the Korean cosmetics industry, Sulwhasoo aims to introduce its brand philosophy of harmony and balance based on ancient Asian wisdom to customers in France.
The exclusive store in Galeries Lafayette, one of France’s biggest department store chains, offering a wide range of top-tier luxury and beauty brands, seeks to leverage the Korea beauty trend that is steadily transforming beauty standards among discerning women around the world. In this effort to convey the essence of holistic beauty to the French marketplace, Sulwhasoo will introduce a range of its most important products. Headlining the lineup is the First Care Activating Serum EX, one of the company’s best selling products worldwide that is made with the its signature ingredient JAUM Balancing Complex™. Top-selling Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream EX, an anti-aging cream embodying Sulwhasoo’s 50 years of research and expertise in utilizing the vitality and highly regarded efficacies of ginseng, will also be available in the product lineup.
The new store at Galeries Lafayette will be designed with Korean traditional herbal medicine as a key motif, displaying heritage ingredients such as ginseng and JAUM Balancing Complex™ to authentically showcase the brand philosopy to customers in France. In addition to exlusive offline store in Galerie Lafayette, Sulwhasoo will also be available through the department store’s online mall.
As consumers around the world gain an increasing appreciation for beauty products based on traditional Korean herbal medicines, the new store in Paris enables Sulwhasoo to gain a foothold in the broader European market as a global brand, helping to expand the company’s leadership beyond its base in Asia and the success that it has already found in other large markets like North America.
Sulwhasoo has reported steady sales in every country it has entered, and continues to do well in Korea. In fact, it is rewriting the history of Korea’s beauty brands. In 2015, it became the first cosmetic company to reach annual sales of KRW 1 trillion in Korea. And, as of 2016, Sulwhasoo has ranked as the top-selling brand at department stores in Korea for 11 straight years.
The overseas market response has also been strong, leading to quick growth. Starting with Hong Kong in 2004, Sulwhasoo has opened some 200 stores in 11 countries, including China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, the US, and Canada. The Chinese market has stood out for especially strong sales, with annual growth coming in at 50% every year.
The new store in Paris is a meaningful opportunity to reenter the important French marketplace. Amorepacific launched its SOON brand there in October 1988, featuring hypoallergenic products developed in joint research with dermatologists from 17 hospitals. The products were sold at drugstores across the nation. In August 1990, Amorepacific established an operation in Chartres and started the local production of Lirikos as part of the effort to gain market share in the country. The two lines were later withdrawn due to slow sales.
This led to a change in strategy, with the new objective to enter the perfume business, which is a large segment of the French cosmetics market. In April 2004, Amorepacific launched its first fragrance product in collaboration with French designer Lolita Lempicka, a brand well known for its unique sensibility. The market’s response was sensational. Unlike standardized, traditional perfumes in the market, Lolita Lempica won over customers with its feminine scent and design.
A year and eight months after the launch, Lolita Lempicka became one of the most loved perfumes in the French market, boasting a market share of 1%. It also won numerous awards such as Women’s Fragrance of the Year, Men’s Fragrance of the Year, and Men’s Best Packaging of the Year by FiFi Awards. Thanks to Lolita Lempicka’s huge hit, Amorepacific CEO Suh Kyung Bae received a plaque of appreciation from the Mayor of Paris in September 2003. On April 29th 2004, Amorepacific completed the construction of a plant in Chartres, France with state-of-the-art facilities on a 100,000㎡ site.
To reinforce its perfume business portfolio, Amorepacific acquired luxury brand Annick Goutal in August 2011, expanding its fragrance business to new overseas markets. This marked the first time for a Korean company to acquire a foreign beauty brand. The brand’s first boutique, Annick Goutal House, was opened in France in 1981 by founder Annick Goutal, and now operates 11 exclusive shops and 680 stores in over 30 countries, continuing to cement its global reputation.
Amorepacific is currently focused expanding internationally with its five global champion brands, Sulwhasoo, Laneige, Mamonde, Etude House, and innisfree. The company is accelerating its effort to add marketshare around the world as it finds new growth momentum. In addition, it will strengthen its foothold and facilitate global expansion in Asia and North America, while it prepares to enter Middle East and West Europe.