Mainland media reported on July 26 that popular make-up brand Maybelline New York is shutting all of its physical stores across the country.

Blue Whale Finance said the stores would be withdrawn gradually. Maybelline’s customer service said consumers can still find products at health and beauty retailer Watsons for the time being. However, product choices would not be too varied. Buyers can find more options online.

As added, the department said the cosmetics giant had begun a strategic withdrawal from multiple cities in China long ago, although no specific date was given. Only dedicated counters are available in several cities, and there is no foretelling if Maybelline will reopen traditional shops in the future.

Maybelline customer service did not disclose the reason for halting offline retailing on the mainland. However, in 2020, Campaign Asia reported that parent company L’Oreal wanted to expand its online sales. 

Maybelline was one of the first foreign beauty brands to boost sales via live-streaming in response to the rapidly shifting Chinese market. It asked 50 internet influencers to help sell lipsticks online at the start of 2016, and 10,000 sales were made in only two hours.

China, in recent years, has also seen a rise in online sales of cosmetics products compared to traditional retail channels. According to Statista, about 80% of China’s retail cosmetic sales will be made online by 2024, up from about 74% in 2018.

L’Oreal, which captures the greatest market share in China’s whole cosmetics industry, reported 10.4 billion dollars in Q4 earnings last year. Reuters noted this outperformed analyst forecasts that the company would net 9.9 billion dollars. 

In its 2021 Annual report, the company also said it boasted record sales during China’s Singles Day shopping festival in November on Alibaba’s Tmall platform.


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