Explore Beauty Boutiques in Japan

Driving Consumer Engagement through Japan’s Boutique Beauty Retailing Gems

While most retail stores are created to generate sales, in Japan, a small group of these known as boutique beauty retailing stores are created to engage consumers and build brand awareness. The purpose of these flagships is to indoctrinate consumers on the products and benefits of brands, eventually sending these consumers to department store counters where meaningful revenue can be generated.

These stores are small in number, totaling about 70 freestanding doors and 626 stores within store doors. Total retail sales for these stores are estimated to be about $1.2 billion in 2018. The free-standing stores are tucked away on side streets in Japan’s millennial high-end shopping area of Omotesandōor in the classic sparkling shopping district of Ginza, showcasing the latest shiny beauty shopping format for Japanese boutique beauty retailers.

Leading retailer boutique beauty retailers include L’Occitane, The Body Shop, and Lush. However Japanese-based brands are present with companies such as Shu Eumura, SK-11, and Shiseido having a sizable presence.

These stores can be behemoths, as is the case with Shiseido’s flagship boutique beauty retailing store in Ginza. The store boasts nearly 9,000 square feet of floor space, occupying four floors of Shiseido’s headquarters.  The store presents a total customer experience, embodying “knowledge,” “technology,” “brand value,” and “cultural value.” The store is diverse, including a French café, restaurant, a “Beauty Boost Bar and Photo Studio,” and other amenities; it is staffed by professional beauty specialists. This is one of 31 doors that exist in Japan for Shiseido.

Tourism plays an important part of the fascination with these stores, as visitors from around the globe seek the unique retail experience of Japan’s boutique stores with strong demand from South Korean and Chinese tourists.

In essence, these single-brand stores, while small in number, are key marketing tools used to build and romance a brand image. From brand ambassadors greeting consumers to attractive product presentations in sleek cabinets and beautiful shopping bags that are given with the smallest purchase, the imagery of the brands and the shopping experience carry over to department store counters, where true revenues are generated.

Boutique Beauty Retailers: Channel Analysis and Opportunities is an insightful analysis monitoring the size and evolution of the dynamic specialty store channel in the United States and Japan. The report reveals the sales, door counts, productivity measures, and competitive strengths of various key and emerging single-brand retail chains, such as Chanel, e.l.f, Jo Malone, Lush, NYX, Rituals, Innisfree, Missha, SkinFood, Lush, and MAC, by country. For more information on single-brand stores in Japan and China, please register for our upcoming webinar, How Successful Beauty Retailers Win Customers in Asia, during which we share highlights on what drives engagement in this channel.

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