Retail in Asia

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Taiwan cosmetics firm eyes new market challenges

Poya is the dominant player in the cosmetics/drugstore sector in central and southern Taiwan and is now turning its attention to Taipei, wondering if the same formula that turned it into a NT$10 billion (US$308 million) business can conquer new challenges.

From its humble beginnings as a stall in a Tainan market, Poya International Co. has built a flourishing business that achieved a new milestone in 2015, surpassing NT$10 billion in annual sales for the first time.

Emboldened by its success, Poya has decided to take on the two giants of Taiwan’s cosmetics, beauty products and drugstore sector—Watsons and Cosmed—and build up its presence in Taipei after being relatively quiet for 10 years with a strategy of “encircling the city from the countryside.”

And so it was that a new face appeared on the scene in Taipei’s high-rent Yongkang commercial district last month, identified by its standard pink signboard on a building near the Dongmen metro station. The company’s trademark, a goddess donning a laurel wreath, seemed to have her eyes set on bustling Xinyi Road and the towering Taipei 101.

The scene symbolizes the determination of the southern Taiwan retail power to assert itself in the country’s capital. Aside from setting up shop in the touristy Yongkang area, it is also planning a new location in Taipei’s Songshan District this year.

Poya’s move into major battlegrounds to fill in the remaining gap in its island-wide network after amassing the requisite momentum should not come as a surprise, considering its recent performance.

In 2015, the company’s revenues grew 16.6 percent to NT$10.69 billion, achieving double-digit sales growth for the third straight year, an impressive showing given that Taiwan’s retail sector has averaged 2.1 percent sales growth during that same period.

While rent will take a bigger slice of sales in Taipei than in southern Taiwan, the company accepts the higher cost because of the heavy foot traffic in the capital city, said Poya’s spokesman and manager of the Finance and Accounting Division, Shen Hong-yu.

(Source: Taiwan Today )