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Kao Unveils New Global Portfolio

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Kao Corporation has unveiled its new global portfolio.

The portfolio was formed around the five cosmetics businesses of Kanebo Cosmetics, Sofina, Curél, e’quipe LTD. and Molton Brown, and consists of of 11 global and eight regional brands; the former includes a small number of brands selected from the domestic portfolio.

Kanebo Cosmetics: Sensai, the prestige brand marketed by Kanebo in more than 40 countries in Europe and the Middle East, will further expand its global markets. Additionally, a flagship store in Japan is slated to open in autumn 2019, and a Chinese launch is set for 2020. An additional line created for the global market will be launched in Europe in 2019.

Kanebo by Kanebo Cosmetics will expand its value-added product lineups and tailor its brand communications.

Sofina: Sofina will develop a new range, Sofina iP, based on the bestselling Sofina iP Base Essence, one of Japan’s leading beauty serums. Additionally, est by Sofina will expand its value-added product lineup, and tailor its brand communications.

Curél: The three mass brands within the portfolio—Curél, freeplus and Kate—have performed especially strong in Japan and China. Curél will expand its Japanese and Asian presence and plans on launching in Europe and the United States in 2019. freeplus, a Chinese top seller, will be accelerated through the Asian market. Bestselling Japanese brand Kate will expand its Asian brick-and-mortar presence in conjunction with digital.

e’quipe: Will strengthen its overseas business for RMK and Suqqu (marketed by e’quipe, owned by Kanebo), popular brands both in Japan and abroad, with a focus on travel retail business. It will also launch a new brand in 2020.

Kao will also depart from conventional classifications, such as prestige, masstige and mass, to “counseling” (beauty counselor retailing at stores) and “self-service” categories. It will also review its manufacturing and sales methods; the manufacturing and marketing for counseling brands will shift to customized suggestions for customers via professional beauty counselors trained for the role. Self-service brands will re-align around standout items with specific benefits. The Group will also reshape communication, storefront and e-commerce activities to best suit each brand.

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