Japanese cosmetics manufacturers are investing in new, highly targeted products and evolving the shopping experience in order to entice consumers away from the drugstore shelves and back into the boutiques, according to a report in The Japan News.
After research conducted by Fuji Keizai Management Co revealed that the number of dedicated boutiques has dropped by 40 percent in the last 10 years in the face of stiff competition from drugstores, manufacturers are fighting back, creating ever-more specialized and fantastical spaces offering personalized service from highly trained staff.
Boutiques are being touted as meeting places where customers can discuss specialist skin care, as well as seek advice on the best product for them. Kao Corp, for example, is set to open a new store format – SOFINA Beauty Power Station – in Tokyo’s Ginza district, billed as a ‘communication hub’ rather than a shop and designed to promote customer satisfaction and understanding. The new store will offer personal skin care lessons, a testing space and demonstration experience area.
“The strength of cosmetics-only stores is that the customers can speak to the sales staff one-on-one to seek advice from them about which cosmetic products are suitable for them. This is a sales tactic that will always endure,” said Naoki Murakami, a Corporate Officer at Shiseido.
In September, Shiseido will launch a range of products aimed specifically at teenagers and senior citizens in its Benefique skin care range, while Kanebo is slated to develop its Twany line in October to include new specialized skin care.