Recently, 3CE STYLENANDA (which is later referred to as 3CE), a makeup brand of L’Oreal Group, announced the closure of its flagship store in Sanlitun, Beijing.
CHAILEEDO noticed that a number of Chinese netizens recently said on social media platforms such as Xiaohongshu that they received official text messages and were told that the 3CE store in Sanlitun, Beijing, would officially be closed on June 18, China Standard Time. It’s reported that the flagship store was the first store opened by 3CE in China, and was also the largest flagship store opened by the brand of L’Oreal Group in China at that time.
In response to the closure, L’Oreal China claimed, “the 3CE flagship store in Sanlitun, Beijing, has recently closed due to the expiration of the lease of the venue. The brand will open a store in Beijing afterward, and the new store is currently in the process of site selection.”
In May 2018, the French beauty giant L’Oreal Group acquired 70% of 3CE’s parent company Nanda for $308 million, which meant the world’s largest beauty group had the first Korean makeup brand.
After the acquisition, L’Oréal Group made China the brand’s future focus and officially entered the Chinese market in 2019. In January of the same year, the 3CE Tmall flagship store was officially opened. Subsequently, 3CE’s first offline flagship store in China settled in Sanlitun, Beijing, in October 2019.
The offline store was reportedly the largest brand flagship store under the L’Oréal Group at the time, covering an area of 400 square meters. In addition to the size, the two parallel lines of makeup and apparel, the full range of product categories, and the minimalist design style were the other distinctive features of this store.
According to CHAILEEDO, besides Sephora and other cosmetics collection stores, 3CE has only two offline stores left in China, located in Xintiandi, Shanghai, and Nanjing Deji Plaza respectively. Otherwise, the brand is currently preparing for the launch of a new store in the Intime Department Store located in West Lake, Hangzhou.
As a supplement to the offline channel, 3CE is also present in Tmall, JD, Tik Tok China and WeChat Mini Program. On Tmall, the brand’s official flagship store has 16 products with monthly sales of more than 10,000 units. Among them, the best-selling 3CE Velvet Lip Tint even sells more than 100,000 per month. On JD, there are 8 products with more than 100,000 reviews in the brand’s official store.
Data shows that in the 618 Shopping Festival of this year, the sales of 3CE broke RMB100 million（$14.9 million）, ranking second in the Top 10 Tmall 618 makeup brands, second only to Yves Saint Laurent. In the same period last year, the brand ranked third and lagged behind Yves Saint Laurent and Florasis. Apparently, 3CE has performed better this year.
It is worth mentioning that, as a key member of the brand portfolio of L’Oreal’s Mass Cosmetics Division, 3CE has become a beauty brand with sales of over 1 billion yuan ($149 million) on Tmall platform in just two years, breaking sales records and ranking the top of the makeup category.
Furthermore, in March this year, the brand finally won the trademark infringement lawsuit that had stirred the Chinese beauty industry. It is reported that the trademark of “3CE”, which was pre-registered by Wu Lili, is highly similar to the trademark of the brand. And there is no obvious difference in word composition, call and overall appearance of the two trademarks. If consumers are not familiar with the trademark of 3CE, it is generally difficult for them to identify it clearly.
After a year-long litigation on trademark infringement, the Primary People’s Court of Haidian District of Beijing Municipality ruled that the defendant’s use of the “3CE” logo constituted trademark infringement, found that the defendant had engaged in counterfeiting and false advertising acts such as packaging and decoration, trade names and corporate names. Therefore, the defendant was sentenced to award 3CE 10.4 million yuan ($1.55 million) for the economic losses and reasonable expenses.
“The choice to upgrade Shanghai (China) as the headquarters of L’Oréal North Asia is an important strategic decision for us, and we hope to enable China to lead the latest trends in the ‘golden delta of beauty’ in China, Japan and Korea …… In the last year, 3CE and Shu Uemura both achieved very impressive results in the Chinese market, which shows that our strategy makes a lot of sense.” Fabrice Faybray, the President of L’Oréal North Asia and the Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal China, said.
Whether 3CE will open 2 offline stores in Beijing and Hangzhou as planned or not? How will the brand develop in the Chinese market under the leadership of L’Oréal Group? CHAILEEDO will keep following.