While the Chinese beauty market saw sluggish growth of 1.8% in Q1 sales amidst the country’s latest COVID outbreaks, overall sales of relevant products fell by 6.3% to 34.5 billion RMB ($5.26 billion) in March, the first decline in 24 months, according to data recorded by the National Bureau of Statistics of China on 18 April. The French cosmetics brand L’Oréal, on the other hand, reported double-digit growth in Q1 for the Chinese market, as per the group’s latest quarterly report.
Despite China’s rigorous COVID restrictions, L’Oréal has enhanced its leading position in China having won over Chinese consumers through key marketing events in the first quarter including the Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, and International Women’s Day.
Such an achievement is also closely linked to the brand’s continuous efforts in optimising its digital ecosystem that not only caters to a rich consumer experience driven by the market upgrade but also enables a more tailored and customised service in the beauty industry. Their hard work has paid off with the brand seeing a 25.8% growth in online sales in the evaluated months.
Alongside its digital expansion in China, L’Oréal has also been strengthening its offline presence. Hainan, a tourism hotspot, which is also a mecca for duty-free retail, has become another crucial arm on top of the brand’s storefronts, as L’Oréal outperformed peers in the sector of beauty travel retail.
Meanwhile, China’s savvy consumers’ appetite for high-end cosmetic products also contributes to L’Oréal’s new momentum, with L’Oréal Luxe being the biggest driver of the brand’s overall growth and Lancôme, a French perfume and beauty brand under L’Oréal Luxe, continuing to dominate the Chinese market.