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Beauty icon Molton Brown aims to quintuple Asia sales


Supplier to British royal family brews up new hotel amenities and perfumes

HIKARIKO YAZAKI, Nikkei staff writer

Molton Brown is releasing 27 new perfumes as it accelerates its push into Asia. (Photo courtesy of Kao)

TOKYO — British luxury beauty brand Molton Brown is strengthening its push into Asian markets, targeting fivefold revenue growth in the fast-growing region by 2025.

Japan’s Kao, which bought the brand in 2005, made the announcement Thursday. Molton Brown will promote hotel amenities in the country and set up a flagship store in western Japan.

Duty-free sales in South Korea, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia will be expanded in the coming years, with sales to online shoppers in China to begin in 2020.

Founded in 1971, Molton Brown is renowned for its signature scents. It operates in 72 countries and regions, mainly in Europe, and supplies products to the British royal family.

The Asian market for luxury beauty products its growing about 10% a year. “Market conditions are looking good for us,” said a Molton Brown executive in charge of Asia operations.

Brands with strong fragrance collections, like Estee Lauder’s Jo Malone, are doing especially well, the executive said.

Kao is releasing 27 new perfumes through Molton Brown starting in September and hopes to turn them into a mainstay of the brand.

Kao has been focusing marketing resources on 11 largely international brands, including Molton Brown, while scrapping underperformers as part of a strategy drawn up in May 2018 to revive its cosmetics segment.

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