Yesterday (October 17), Kao Corporation announced it was preparing to introduce its first flagship store for the renowned global premier brand SENSAI in Shanghai, China on October 27, 2023. Over the past few decades, SENSAI has steadily established itself as a Japanese luxury brand, primarily in Europe. Currently, SENSAI products are available in approximately 3,600 stores across more than 40 countries worldwide.
The opening of this flagship store in Shanghai, designed as an “experience-based concept store,” is part of a broader effort to convey SENSAI’s distinctive values to the global market and further enhance the brand’s international presence. Kao Beauty Brands aims to expand the sales of its beauty brands, including SENSAI, MOLTON BROWN, and Curél, particularly in China and other parts of Asia. SENSAI, as the leading brand, plays a crucial role in this strategy.
In developing the store, consumer preferences in China’s skincare market have been a key consideration. Yoshiko Sakurai, the brand manager for SENSAI, highlights the demand for evidence-based efficacy in Chinese skincare products. However, consumers also place great importance on special experiences that can only be provided in physical retail stores.
The store is said to be divided into two distinct areas: An immersive spa, and a shopping area. SENSEI says the layout of the store reinterprets the flow of the traditional tea ceremony, as if purifying the self and preparing the mind: a garden path (roji), a waiting area (machiai), a tea room (chashitsu), and a seeing off (omiokuri).