L’Oréal in China

In 2022, L’Oréal celebrated 25 years in China, a cradle of innovation for the Group. Thanks to its unique brand portfolio and its teams’ remarkable ability to innovate, L’Oréal increased its sales and outperformed the beauty market in 2022, rising to the challenges of a complex economic context. In a better position than ever before, the Group is now poised to seize future growth opportunities in China, including Hainan.

Fabrice Megarbane

President North Asia Zone & CEO L’Oréal China

In China, we’re inventing the future of beauty thanks to our ability to ‘saisir ce qui commence’, or seize new opportunities. By capitalising on our teams’ talents and ability to innovate as well as on the strength of our brand portfolio and operational model, we are bolstering our leading position to better serve consumers, wherever they may be, and to fulfil their desires by providing them with new products and increasingly personalised and connected services.

Innovation, digitalisation and carbon neutrality fuel L’Oréal’s success in China

25 years of beauty in China

It has now been a quarter of a century since L’Oréal opened for business in China. Its brand portfolio is perfectly suited to this exceptional market: it includes international brands reaching their full potential – like Helena Rubinstein, SkinCeuticals and Yves Saint Laurent – as well as local and regional brands such as YueSai, 3CE Stylenanda and Shu Uemura which are very popular with consumers.

The entrepreneurial mindset and resilience of the teams in China, combined with its robust operational model, are strategic assets that enable L’Oréal to prepare for the future with confidence, all while continuing to invest in growth drivers and the Chinese ecosystem. In 2022, L’Oréal made long-term investments to build a supply chain that will stand the test of tomorrow’s challenges, with its first fulfilment centre in Suzhou.

Innovation spurs product performance

One reason the Group has maintained its position as beauty leader in China is because it has developed exceptional products that meet all beauty aspirations. Its innovations most notably propelled L’Oréal Luxe to set new market share records in 2022 thanks to the success of ultra-premium skincare products by Lancôme and Helena Rubinstein. Other successes include introducing Carita to the Chinese market and several innovative launches, such as Lancôme’s Rénergie H.C.F Triple Serum. The L’Oréal Paris brand also stood out with its premiumisation strategy, including the launch of Revitalift Filler Eye Cream For Face 2.0, which quickly became the number one mass-market eye cream in China.

  • 2nd L’Oréal’s second biggest market
  • No. 1 L’Oréal is number one in beauty in China

Perfume: the new GenZ beauty must-have

One enduring trend in the Chinese market is perfume, which is currently booming. The Group enjoys a particularly favourable position in this promising category with the iconic Lancôme brand and designer brands like Armani Privé, Maison Margiela, Valentino and Prada, which entered the Chinese market in 2022. And this is only the beginning: L’Oréal is also investing in Chinese fragrance brands like Documents, in which the Group purchased a minority stake via its Shanghai Meicifang Investment Co., Ltd, backed by BOLD. What sets this luxury brand apart is the way it uses GenZ codes and meets their expectations with an unambiguously named range of fragrances: Chanku (Zen+Cool).

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Online + offline: a winning combo

L’Oréal’s goal is to bring the best possible services to ultra-connected consumers. To that end, the Group is focusing on digital and investing in Beauty Tech to create phygital beauty experiences. Thanks to online activations, consumers can meet with beauty advisors via streaming to build more personalised relationships with the brand. And in brick-and-mortar stores, consumers can use digital personalisation or “diagnosis” services like those showcased in the new, highly digitalised Professional Products Division salons in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. The Division has also launched D2S (direct-to-stylist), a connection and sales platform for professional hairstylists. Among other things, it hosts a comprehensive training programme including videos and livestreaming as well as optional in-person sessions. These initiatives illustrate the infinite possibilities of the O+O (online + offline) winning combo.

Travel Retail: 19 flagship boutiques launched in the world’s biggest duty-free shopping complex

In 2022, the world’s biggest duty-free mall, Haikou International Duty-Free Shopping Complex, opened on the island of Hainan with a 29,000 square metre space dedicated to beauty brands. L’Oréal showcases the best of beauty with its 19 new flagship boutiques offering Chinese travellers the exclusive L’Oréal experience through high-tech beauty innovations and best-in-class service standards.

China and the North Asia Zone – pioneering the Group’s carbon neutrality

In 2019, China became L’Oréal’s first country where all sites achieved “carbon-neutral” status. In 2022, the entire North Asia Zone achieved this target. In fact, all of its sites – plants, distribution centres, research and innovation centres and administrative sites – reached this status three years ahead of schedule. As part of L’Oréal for the Future, L’Oréal China also supports its stakeholders as they set ambitious environmental goals and embrace a more sustainable business model. For example, label supplier AP Label committed itself to making its sites “carbon neutral” following training sessions organised by L’Oréal. The company reached its goal in 2022 by investing in renewable energy. And more is yet to come: L’Oréal China will present its commitments at the Shanghai International Carbon Expo and continue to train its suppliers to expand its positive impact.