Kao Group reorganises cosmetics division

Kao, a Japanese cosmetics group, is reshuffling its global cosmetics division with a new global portfolio and a series of fresh strategies for accelerating the group’s growth in Europe and Asia.


Kanebo Cosmetics

The reorganisation is part of Kao Group’s ambition to reach sales of over 300 billion yen by 2020, with an operating profit ratio of 10% and overseas sales ratio of 25%. The company said the way its businesses were previously organised was creating challenges it for strategic growth.

So the new global portfolio is formed around five cosmetic businesses, including Kanebo Cosmetics, Sofina, Curél, e’quipe LTD, and Molton Brown. Each business will strengthen their brand management and optimise the group of brands they market.

There will be a renewed focus on prestige global brands, particularly the super prestige brand marketed by Kanebo Cosmetics, Sensai. Already available in Europe and the Middle East, Sensai will launch a new line for Europe in 2019 and open its second flagship store in Japan in 2020.

Est by Sofina and Kanebo by Kanebo Cosmetics will also expand their product categories, while RMK and SUQQU by e’quipe will strengthen their presence in the travel retail channel.

Finally, Sofina will develop a new range, Sofina iP; Freeplus will expand its distribution throughout Asia; and skincare brand Curél will launch in Europe and the US in 2019.

The group has also reviewed its marketing strategies, and decided to leave the conventional classification of “prestige” and “mass” brands for “counselling” and “self-service” categories. This will translate into a more personalised and guided service at “counselling” or “prestige” brand stores, and a realignment around star items for “self-service” or “mass” brand stores.

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