SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – K-beauty products are surging in popularity in the Japanese market, with various Korean brands riding the Hallyu or Korean Wave trend.
While Japanese consumers have traditionally favored domestic beauty brands, Korean companies are making significant strides in the mid-priced cosmetics sector, particularly in color cosmetics.
According to the Japan Imported Cosmetics Association, imports of Korean cosmetics to Japan reached 77.5 billion yen last year, surpassing French products for the first time and maintaining the lead through the first half of this year.
Laka Cosmetics, known for its makeup brand Laka, reported that 70 percent of its total sales (12.5 billion won) in the third quarter of this year came from overseas, with a significant portion from direct online sales in Japan, accounting for over 45 percent.
Laka’s popularity, especially for its lip products, was evident during e-commerce portal Qoo10′s Megawari sales promotion in November, where it generated more than 140 million yen in sales from the lip category alone over 12 days.
The brand is now expanding its offline presence in Japan, aiming to be in over 300 stores, including top variety stores like Loft, Plaza, and @cosme, by the end of the year.
Manyo Factory, known for products like Galac Niacin 2.0 Essence and Pure Cleansing Oil, has also strengthened its foothold in Japan, with the country contributing to 58.5 percent of its total overseas sales, which amounted to 23.4 billion won through the third quarter of this year. The brand operates about 4,600 offline stores in Japan, in addition to various online channels.
Major Korean cosmetics giants, including Amorepacific and LG Household & Healthcare, have introduced new brands and expanded their product lines in the Japanese market, achieving substantial sales growth.
The popularity of K-pop and the value-seeking tendencies of Japan’s millennials and Gen Z are seen as driving factors for the success of mid-to-low-priced Korean brands in Japan. Additionally, the absence of mid-to-low-priced offerings from major Japanese cosmetics companies has created a unique niche market.
While Korean brands are making inroads, some experts suggest that a diversified strategy targeting different generations is essential to improve profitability in the Japanese market, which predominantly leans towards low- and mid-priced products.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)