Japan cosmetic giant Shiseido bets on ‘Made in Japan’

Japan cosmetic giant Shiseido bets on ‘Made in Japan’

In the small town of Otawara north of Tokyo, Japanese giant Shiseido has built its first domestic factory in 36 years, hoping to capitalise on a boom for “Made in Japan” cosmetics. Despite the highest labour costs, Shiseido is not the only company to bring back production to its home base
The Japanese cosmetics industry faces huge competition not only from established players such as L’Oreal and Estee Lauder but increasingly also from the “K-beauty” craze coming from South Korea. Nevertheless, Japan is more than holding its own, with exports nearly quadrupling since 2013 to 546 billion yen ($5 billion), according to finance ministry figures, nearly two-thirds of that going to China and Hong Kong. The domestic industry is also benefitting from an explosion of inbound tourism in recent years ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — in particular a relaxing of visa requirements for Chinese tourists who lap up the latest Japanese cosmetic fads.
In addition to the new plant in Otawara, Shiseido plans to open two more in Japan before 2022 – a total investment of 120 billion yen – the fastest pace of expansion in the firm’s 150-year history.