Eleven Years of Practicing Charity, Kiehl’s China Reached $625 million Last Year

According to Kiehl’s plan, its goal for 2021 is to reach the sale of $625 million and try for $782 million. This means that if Kiehl’s is to achieve its desired sales, it will have to at least accomplish a year-on-year increase of 25% or more.

Founded in 1851 in Manhattan, New York, Kiehl’s began by selling herbs, essential oils, prescription medicines, teas and honey. Later on, Kiehl’s developed its unique image by combining its expertise in beauty, herbalism, pharmacy and medicine, and evolved into a full-service brand with the launch of the first Kiehl’s named care products.

By the early 1960s, Kiehl’s pharmacists had the experience and expertise to develop a range of care products which customized the needs of their customers for both men and women. 170 years later, Kiehl’s is still working tirelessly to provide the most professional service and top-quality care products for the face, body, hair and even after sports.

In 2000, Kiehl’s joined the L’Oréal Group. In 2009, Kiehl’s officially entered China. From 2009 to 2021, Kiehl’s sales in China have grown steadily surpassing $156 million in 2016.

In 2020, Kiehl’s performance target was $469 million., which was actually exceeded, with a final performance of nearly $625 million on the retail side. It is unbelievable that Kiehl’s started with a retail volume of $46-$78 million in China 12 years ago and has grown 10-times today.

In 2020, under such a serious situation of the pandemic, Kiehl’s exceeded its annual performance target mainly for several reasons: First, from the perspective of the channel, after Kiehl’s planned offline channel, it began to layout the online channel. During the pandemic, in the case of more than 80% of offline retail stores are closing, the online channel performed very well with a strong complement.

Secondly, from the product perspective, makeup cosmetics were more affected by the pandemic. But the demand for skin care did not decrease. The impact was relatively very small. Kiehl’s focuses on skincare and some product categories in particular performed exceptionally well during the pandemic, such as cleansing masks, which grew very rapidly last year, thanks to Kiehl’s balanced product structure.

It is understood that Kiehl’s online sales currently come mainly from the official Tmall flagship store, the official WeChat mini-program and the official website, while offline it has more than 170 counters and boutiques, of which the average annual sales per counter or boutique is around $1.564 million.

“The proportion of online and offline sales is now basically equal, with each accounting for 50 percent.” Li Lin, general manager of Kiehl’s China, once revealed at a public event that Kiehl’s has added about 10 new offline counters even in 2020.

According to Kiehl’s plan, its goal for 2021 is to reach the sale of $625 million and try for $782 million. This means that if Kiehl’s is to achieve its desired sales, it will have to at least accomplish a year-on-year increase of 25% or more. Kiehl’s has grown from a young brand just entering China to a top 10 cosmetics brand in China’s high-end beauty market. Today, the Chinese market has also become the second largest market for Kiehl’s globally, behind only the U.S. domestic market.

Since the first day it entered the Chinese market in 2009, Kiehl’s has been helping the public good. In the eleven years since it entered the Chinese market, Kiehl’s has collaborated with artists almost every year to launch a limited edition art collaboration for its star product “Moisturizing Face Cream”. During this period, over 3 million bottles of the face cream were sold in China, with a portion of the sales donating to charity projects for disadvantaged children in China. The Face Cream is currently the number one selling moisturizer among all premium brands.

Since 2012, Kiehl’s has been focused on China’s national treasure, panda. Kiehl’s is working on a project to protect the habitat of wild pandas through a limited edition of the Amazonian White Clay – another one of its star products. More than 2 million bottles of white clay masks were sold to support the conservation of wild pandas in China. Currently, Kiehl’s White Clay is also the number one selling in oil control product in the premium cosmetics category.

2017 was a milestone year for Kiehl’s in China with the official launch of Kiehl’s Tmall flagship store. In an era of booming e-commerce, the brand is also exploring how to incorporate its own concerns and thoughts on the environment and nature into its e-commerce platform. This year, Kiehl’s and Tmall partnered to join the Green Package Program, becoming the first of all high-end beauty brands to adopt plastic-free logistics in e-commerce.



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