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Duty-Free Sales of Kao Prestige Brands on Hainan Island:
First Step of a Full-Scale Entry into China's Duty-Free Market

On April 1, 2021, Kao Corporation (Yoshihiro Hasebe, President) will be opening a cosmetics counter at the Hailu duty-free shopping complex in Sanya, a popular destination for tourism and business in the south of China's Hainan Island. The counter will sell mainly items from Kao's prestige brands SENSAI and est, with an exclusive sales area dedicated to est BIOMIMESIS VEIL, a popular range in China. The new duty-free sales base will be a stepping stone to a retail expansion in other parts of Hainan Island and elsewhere in China, with plans for full-scale participation in the rapidly expanding Chinese duty-free market.


Kao Cosmetics counter envisioned at the Hailu duty-free shopping complex

Leading up to the Hainan opening

The Chinese duty-free market has been growing rapidly in recent years. With higher domestic demand generated by the Covid-19 pandemic and an easing of retail taxes, sales on Hainan Island rose sharply in 2020. Further jumps are expected in 2021 onward, as more large-scale duty-free complexes open in various locations on the island. The opening of the Kao Cosmetics counter in Hailu is a stepping stone to future expansion at other locations on Hainan Island.

About the new counter

The Hailu duty-free shopping complex is a spacious mall situated in Sanya city on Hainan Island. The sales counter will be selling products from Kao's leading prestige brands, SENSAI and est, in a 40-square-meter space reserved in Hailu's prestige cosmetics zone. Part of the space will be dedicated to sales of the est BIOMIMESIS VEIL range, a showcase of advanced Kao technologies.

Future developments

Once the first sales counter opens on Hainan Island, Kao plans to establish more outlets in China's duty-free market at a growing pace, positioning itself in both airports and inner city stores. Numerically speaking, Kao targets the opening of twenty sales outlets in the next few years. With every new opening, more potential customers will come into first-hand contact with Kao's prestige brands.

About Kao

Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries, and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America, and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,400 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.

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