Retail in Asia


Maybelline closes physical stores in China

After losing out to a Chinese rival to become the top-selling cosmetics brand in the nation last year, the US company Maybelline will shut down all of its physical locations in China and shift the majority of its sales channels online.

According to a source, Maybelline started closing stores a long time ago. Watsons, a chain of health and beauty supply stores, will only have some of its counters open.

Maybelline, which was established in 1915, entered the Chinese market in 1995. Through brick-and-mortar channels like supermarkets and department shops, it soon rose to the top-selling cosmetics brand in China. L’Oréal, a major French cosmetics company, purchased the brand in 1996.

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As e-commerce platforms began to take off in China, traditional retail sales began to fall. According to reports, Maybelline stopped selling products in supermarkets in May 2018 and started closing counters in department stores in 2020.

According to a statistics, Maybelline’s market share in China decreased to 4.9 percent last year from 10.7 percent in 2018, losing its status as the top-selling cosmetics brand in China. The top two positions were held by Chinese brands Florasis and Perfect Diary, with market shares of 6.8% and 6.4%, respectively. Dior, a high-end French fashion house, came in third with 6.1 percent.

According to the Qianzhan Industry Research Institute, Florasis and Perfect Diary have larger market shares because of creative marketing strategies and channels, such as livestreams held by well-known influencers and social media platforms.