Japanese beauty brands secure foothold in Vietnam

Japanese personal care firms Takara Belmont, Menard, and Shiseido have found ways to get their parts in the Vietnamese cosmetics market, whose value is expected to hit $2.35 billion this year, according to the Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper.

Illustrative photo

Illustrative photo

The paper reported that in late January, Takara Belmont said it had acquired 97 percent of shares in Ngu A Chau, a leading producer of hair care products in Vietnam, for JPY900 million ($8.2 million ).
With the acquisition, Takara Belmont, which entered Vietnam in 2013 by establishing a plant making dental equipment, has made the first step into the local beauty market.
Founded in 1921 and venturing into the hairdressing & beauty field 10 years later, Takara Belmon owns the Lebel brand, which holds the second biggest share of Japan’s hair care market.
Ngu A Chau has a plant and a network of over 200 distribution agencies for its KANAC and other brands of hair care products, which account for about 10 percent of local market share in the field. It is also the first company in Vietnam meeting international standards set for good manufacturing practice in 2011, meaning their products are qualified for export.
Following the merger, Takara Belmont said it would maintain the Vietnamese partner’s name and brand, but appointed a new leader board to help apply Japanese technology in the production.
President and CEO of Takara Belmont Hidetaka Yoshikawa was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the company aims at turning Ngu A Chau’s brands into the top ones not only in Vietnam but also in Southeast Asia.
Menard, and Shiseido, meanwhile, have consolidated their foothold in Vietnam after years of serving local customers.
After 14 years in Vietnam, Menard has 26 cosmetics stores and spas in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong, alongside a nationwide distribution network.
Le Thanh Huong, director of Menard Vietnam, said revenue growth of her company far exceeds the annual growth rate of the local cosmetic market, making Vietnam an important market in Menard’s development strategy.
Menard owns two production plants in Japan serving domestic demand and exports to the Europe and Vietnam. About 99 percent of Menard products sold in Vietnam are made in Japan.
Shiseido, one of the world’s oldest cosmetics companies, established its Vietnamese branch nearly a decade ago to develop a distribution system it had built in the country since 1997.
In 2012, Shiseido Vietnam ended its distribution contract with the Vietnamese company Thuy Loc. All of the company’s products now can only be purchased at Shiseido Vietnam’s official stores and legal agents.
By opening a flagship store on adayroi.com, an e-commerce site run by VinGroup, the company is a pioneer of luxury brands in Vietnam’s online market, which mostly attracts the participation of small- and medium-sized firms.

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