NEW YORK — Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has opened its first counter in China at the Parkson’s department store in Beijing, near Tiananmen Square.
The mid-August opening marks “phase one” of the brand’s entry into China, according to executives at the Estée Lauder Cos.-owned brand. The Beijing unveiling will be followed by two more openings — in Hangzhou Tower and at the Pacific Department Store/Tai Pin Yang Hwai Hai in Shanghai later this year. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is currently available in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and 25 other international markets.
“When I stand in China, I feel like I have my feet in the future,” said Maureen Case, president of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Worldwide, during a phone interview from Beijing. “There is a growing awareness by the [Chinese] consumer of Western products.
“We now have an opportunity with retailing partners who understand prestige cosmetics retailing that wasn’t available 10 years ago,” Case added.
While she would not comment on numbers, industry sources estimate the move into China could mean up to $10 million in additional business for the Bobbi Brown brand over the next three years.
And Brown is equally enthused about the expansion. “It’s such an incredibly fast-growing market financially and there’s so much opportunity, but that is only part of the reason,” Brown said. “It’s a chance for me to really share my philosophy with this market — to talk to them about being who you are and making the most of your beauty.”
The selling space for Bobbi Brown in Parkson’s was created as part of a major renovation of the store this year, according to the company. It was designed in the brand’s so-called “makeup studio” style, featuring natural-colored wood floors and brushed metal seating.
And, interestingly enough, not much about the brand — from the way it is presented in-store to the product offerings — will be changed for the Chinese market, according to Case, who said that most of the focus in Parkson’s will be on foundation, concealer and skin care.
“We also have a line of brightening products that we just introduced and we’ll have a brightening foundation coming out in the spring,” she said, referring to the brand’s product offering in Asia.
Case added that the Bobbi Brown brand — which is currently available at 300 points of sale in the U.S. — “likes to launch in a market, do it appropriately, get it strong and then move onto the next [market].” Thus, plans are already in the works to launch the brand in Indonesia next year.