Retail in Asia

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K-beauty gains popularity in Japan thanks to K-pop culture

With the resurgence of Korean pop music, TV series, and films in the neighbouring country, South Korean cosmetics businesses are making a major effort to increase their presence in Japan, where Korean beauty products are quickly winning the hearts of young customers in their 20s and 30s.

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During the first three months of this year, sales of the Korean top health and beauty chain, CJ Olive Young, increased by 223 percent year over year on Japanese e-commerce companies Rakuten and Qoo10.

The massive popularity of K-pop culture, which encompasses music, drama, and movies, was a major factor behind the growth in Korean cosmetics sales in Japan.

K-pop soloist Daniel Kang represents Bioheal, and Sana, a member of the K-pop girl group Twice from Japan, represents Wakemake. Both performers are well-known to youthful Japanese audiences. It leads the sales volume for Bioheal and Wakemake, which began selling their goods through the Olive Young in Japan, increased 4 times and 2.4 times respectively in the first quarter.

In the same time frame, the beloved members of Twice, Sana and Dahyun, who represent A’peiu as brand ambassadors. Sales of the Able C&C brand A’peiu quadrupled, continuing its winning streak since it first entered the Japanese market in May 2020.

Additionally, localization increased K-beauty product sales in Japan. Sparking Tint from A’peiu creates a brilliant and shimmering effect that many Japanese ladies prefer, which causes the lip tint to frequently run out of stock in Japan.

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Encouraged by the recent surge in popularity, prominent Korean cosmetics manufacturers are actively working to increase their presence in Japan, which has replaced China as the country to which they export the most beauty products. Because of the COVID-19 lockdowns and the growth of local and other foreign cosmetics brands, demand for Korean cosmetics in China has been steadily declining.