"Makeup was identified as a huge growth area for Watsons and working with L'Oréal on the development of this new store concept meant that we had the expertise of an established makeup supplier at the forefront," explained Malina Ngai, group chief operating officer, AS Watson Group. "Colorlab stores put the customers experience first; rather than just purchasing makeup, we wanted to give customers access to advice and expertise from skilled makeup artists, as well as the opportunity to try out different looks and play about with new products."
In addition to L'Oréal, the stores also include Watsons own makeup brands Makeup Miracle and Collagen, as well as brands new to Watsons stores including Japanese makeup brand Kiss Me and Korean makeup brand Clio.
"Watsons has the reputation as the best health & beauty brand in Asia and we are excited to be working in partnership to launch Colorlab, a concept we are sure will be seen as one of the best stores for beauty," said Samuel du Retail, VP/GM-consumer products division. "These new stores offer customers more than just a wide range of makeup products, they offer a makeup experience with access to instore makeup artists for consultations as well as a wide range of collateral on makeup trends and new looks to inspire them."
As recent data from Mintel shows that the growth rate of the cosmetics market in China exceeds the overall market for beauty care and estimates that between 2017-2022, the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.2% and achieve RMB 49,662 million (about $7.2 billion) by 2022. This insight coupled with AS Watson's customer insights and market intelligence allowed the retailer to identify a need to develop Watsons makeup offering.
The opportunity was shared with L'Oréal who advised on the best way to attract a larger customer base and target a younger demographic who want access to knowledge, expertise and a wider product range, and together they founded Colorlab by Watsons.
The move has been welcomed by consumers.
"The shopping environment of Colorlab by Watsons is stylish and fashionable," said Wang Mei-fen, a customer of Colorlab in Shenzhen, China. "There are many international-renowned makeup brands. It's not only a shopping paradise but also a place for beauty enthusiasts to discover, experience and play."