The arrival of NARS in China contains two missions for the company. On the one hand, it signifies that the Group will focus on the development of the color cosmetics category. On the other hand, Shiseido will establish new fundamentals for the future through NARS and understand the new aspirations and fashion needed from Chinese consumers.
NARS is an American professional makeup brand founded by French makeup master FRANÇOIS NARS, who specializes in using black, the most classic color with a personalized logo to express minimalist spirit of the brand. NARS is the most talked about makeup brand in the world and its eye shadows, highlighters and blushes are all must-haves for beauty lovers with celebrities such as Madonna, Sharon Stone and Jennifer Aniston among its loyal fans.
French makeup master FRANÇOIS NARS has an anti-traditional makeup philosophy that encourages women to experiment and learn how to express their natural beauty and personal style while having fun with makeup. FRANÇOIS NARS believes that there are no set rules for beauty. He says, “As long as you look pleasant and comfortable, that’s good.” The appeal of NARS lies in having irresistible and authentic qualities: glamorous, confident, stylish and edgy. Whether you need a stylish accessory, a guilty pleasure, or a full makeup collection, NARS has something for every imaginable need and every occasion.
NARS was founded in 1994 and was acquired by the Shiseido Group in 2000. Currently, it forms the luxury division of Shiseido Group with brands such as CPB and IPSA. On August 1, 2017, NARS officially entered China. In August 2018, NARS is also settled in Tmall.
Currently, NARS official Tmall flagship store has a total of 3.76 million followers with 91 SKUs in the store and a product price range of $31.26 – $271.96. The highest selling product is the “Light Reflecting Setting Powder Pressed” with monthly sales of 30,000+. Among them, 4 of the products have exceeded 10,000 units.
It is worth noting that high-end brands such as NARS and IPSA saw significant growth and market share expansion due to an increase in brick-and-mortar stores and the Shiseido Group increased investment in e-commerce. During the Double 11 -Chinese Shopping Festival- in 2020″, the largest e-commerce promotion in China, its sales more than doubled from the previous year. As a result, the e-commerce segment accounted for more than 40% of sales in the Chinese business.
On February 24, 2021, NARS also officially announced Chinese actress Zhao Liying as its ambassador. It stated that her modern and bold image are highly compatible with the NARS’ DNA and released Zhao Liying’s new campaign and video for NARS makeup. As of October 28, 2021, Zhao Liying has 89,988,000 followers on Chinese social media platform Weibo. With her traffic, the brand hoped to further expand the reach of NARS in the Chinese consumer.
The Shiseido Group is also said to be “de-Shiseido-izing” of its brands to create an independent and individual brand image.
NARS is also undoubtedly an important part of the group’s innovation. Shiseido Group President Masahiko Ushitani once said, “Shiseido, whose name comes from “the Book of Change”, has placed great importance on China from the start and we have made business for priority of Chinese consumers. We are also working with retail partners such as Alibaba in an effort to promote faster business growth in China than in other regions. Shiseido must be a winner in the global market.”
“The arrival of NARS in China encompasses two missions for the company: one is to signify that the Group will focus on the growth of the color cosmetics category which has shown strong growth and speed in the Group’s financial results. Shiseido hopes to follow this trend and provide the brands needed for the millennial generation.” Kentaro Fujiwara, general manager of Shiseido (China) Investment Co. has also said, “On the other hand, Shiseido also hopes to use this opportunity to promote the iteration of its internal organization. We will establish new fundamentals for the future through NARS to understand the new aspirations and fashion needs of Chinese consumers, which are needed within the company.”
On October 27, 2021, Shiseido officially opened its R&D center in Oriental Beauty Valley in Fengxian District, Shanghai. According to Shiseido’s website, the group has seven R&D centers worldwide located in the major markets of the group including Europe, the America, Asia Pacific and Japan. It is worth mentioning that it has 2 R&D centers in China and the Oriental Beauty Valley R&D center, as its 8th R&D center worldwide, is also the 3rd one set up in China – even Japan has only 2 R&D centers in its home country. This shows that the position of the Chinese market speaks for itself.