SEOUL, April 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Cosmetics brand “road shops” – street-level retail shops with storefronts – have shut down in considerable numbers as the coronavirus continues to take a toll on the cosmetics industry.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission reported that Missha, a South Korean budget cosmetic brand, shut down 164 road shops last year, along with 30 additional vendors between January and March of this year.
The numbers have halved since the 2000s, when Missha ran more than 800 road shops across the country.
Beauty brands run by conglomerates are facing a similar situation as Innisfree, a beauty brand run by cosmetics giant AmorePacific Corp., has also shuttered 264 stores since 2019.
The number of road shops for Etude House plunged from 393 stores in 2018 to 275 in 2019. On its website, only 164 stores appear on the list of vendors currently in operation.
Due to changing patterns in beauty consumption, road shops were already struggling in the pre-coronavirus era, before the pandemic sped up the process.
The beauty market has been hit hard by the pandemic and people covering up their faces with protective masks.
Road shops, however, took the largest blow following the spread of contactless modes of shopping and a significant drop in pedestrian numbers.
Able C&C Co., operator of Missha, recorded a loss of 66 billion won (US$58.5 million) last year, turning over a deficit.
The beauty industry is looking for a breakthrough by working on store efficiency, setting up multi-brand shops, and improving online platforms.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)