Korea’s retail industry rivals Lotte and Shinsegae are again competing hard in the health and beauty market.
The number of health & beauty stores selling cosmetic items, drugs, and foods is rising fast in the country.
With its own brand LOHB’s, Lotte is focusing on young customers while Shinsegae licensed the world’s largest drugstore brand “Boots” of the United Kingdom and launched the store chain in May this year.
Shinsegae Boots set its main marketing concept as premium and started selling MAC cosmetic lines at its H&B stores. Other cosmetic brands sold in Boots stores such as Shu Uemura and Benefit are something hard to find in any other H&B stores. Other high-end brands include Darphin, Biotherm, and Dermalogica.
The fact that Boots incorporated drug sections in its stores is another distinguishing factor from other H&B stores. Beginning in the mid-2000s, main H&B stores like Olive Young and Watsons decided not to sell medicine items in its stores.
That’s why Korean H&B stores preferred to be called as such instead of drugstores. Currently the number of Boots stores remains at four and the company has no plan to expand the number any time soon.
In contrast, LOHB’s of Lotte is positioning itself as an H&B store for young and trendy consumers in their teens and 20s.
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In order to grab the hearts and minds of those highly sensitive to vogue, LOHB sells items well publicized on the Internet and social networking sites.
“Bbia,” the color cosmetic item sold by LOHB’s since early this year, is a case in point. The item had become popular among young consumers on e-commerce sites such as TicketMonster and moved to the physical store fronts such as LOHB’s.
Dr. Wonder’s Anti-Spot Patch and Crocodile Foot Pack are also examples of items that became famous on the social networking space and then moved to the brick-and-mortar store