Maybelline to pull out of department stores in China

The brand will continue to rely more on online sales while opening more flagship and experience stores.

L'Oreal brand Maybelline will gradually quit using department store channel in China, adjusting its offline channels to offer more user experiences while expanding online sales.

According to Southern Metropolis Daily, L'Oréal confirmed the change and said it will continue to open flagship stores and experience centres in China.

Since 2018, Maybelline has been reducing its offline sales in supermarkets in line with a strategy to upgrade its brand image. General manager Wang Qianyuan of L'Oréal's makeup department said in an event earlier that Chinese consumers have a mature understanding of makeup products, and Maybelline would accordingly adjust its stores and image.

In its statement, L'Oréal said the reason to retreat from department stores is to "emphasize its unique image of a fashion brand and to better catering consumers' need".

Online sales have become L'Oréal's major source of income. According to its latest earnings report, online sales of increased by 52.4% year-on-year to €4.6 billion (US$5.4 billion). And since the beginning of 2020, sales from e-commerce contributed about 50% of L'Oréal China's sales.

Although the pandemic has made an impact on Maybelline's global sales, the impact in China is quite limited. Maybelline was one of the first makeup brands to start live-streaming sales as it adapted to the fast-changing Chinese environment. Early in 2016, it invited 50 internet celebrities to help sell lipsticks online, achieving 10,000 sales in two hours. Today, Maybelline still works with live-streamers in multiple channels to boost its sales online.

This article first appeared on campaignasia.com.

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