Japanese beauty manufacturer Shiseido is expanding its research and development centres, opening up facilities in Europe and Asia in an effort to better appreciate the needs of its customers there and expand beyond the US and domestic markets.
On October 1 Shiseido opened the European Research Centre, based in Boulogne-Billancourt on the outskirts of Paris. This site builds on the European Techno Centre (ETEC), which regulates the company's imports in the European Union.
In order to further its understanding of international customers, Shiseido is combining the opening of the European centre with the Shiseido Southeast Asia Research Centre, which also opened on October 1.
The company stated that both centres will help to "enhance the ability to study the skin types, cosmetic habits, aesthetic consciousness and usage preferences of customers, as well as adopt unique technologies within these regions and rapidly integrate them into product development."
An estimated 30 per cent of Shiseido's sales are generated from the International market, a target that is hoped to be developed further with the instigation of the two r&d centres.
Shiseido stated, "The company's strategy for ongoing global growth requires strengthening r&d capabilities, as well as constructing Japanese and overseas R&D networks and enhancing competitiveness through the sharing of any information obtained on a world-wide basis".
As European cosmetic laws and regulations are becoming increasingly accepted as the global standard in the industry, Shiseido says that Europe is an important market to break into, with the company intent on developing new product trends from its European centre into the global market.
Shiseido is intending to use the research centre in Thailand to develop its understanding of the properties of local plant materials in order to cater to the growing global need for knowledge of natural products.
With the expansion of itsresearch and development programmes in Europe and Asia, Shiseido America has also recently announced that it expects to have the $9 million expansion of its township facility completed by November 2006.
Tom Halligan, executive director of operations for Shiseido America, last week stated that the 53,000 square feet addition would increase the size of the local plant to 215,000 square feet. Thus increasing the work force of the townships third largest employer by 10 per cemt.