The eyes have it: Shiseido promises to offer ‘new experiences’ with Second Skin tech launch in October
The SHISEIDO Bio Performance series will consist of the Second Skin and a trial kit will be launched in Japan on October 1 and will retail from JPY3,850 (U$34.87) to JPY35,200 (U$318.82).
This technology was acquired in 2018 through the takeover of Olivo Laboratories, a US-based start-up that created the patented XPL Second Skin tech, a breathable, flexible, and nearly invisible artificial skin.
After its acquisition, the company spent three years to ready the technology for commercialisation, testing the product on around 4,000 people in the US and Japan.
“After three years of research since the acquisition of patented technology in 2018, it's slated for launch in October, incorporating the brand's proprietary technology. Second Skin will offer new experiences [for consumers],” said CFO Takayuki Yokota.
Second Skin is among Shiseido’s latest skin care investments Shiseido plans to focus on as it moves into the second half of 2021 and recover from COVID-19.
“We will enhance the business foundation for growth ahead of recovery from COVID-19. First of all, we are committed to completing global transformation was in 2021. We will continue investment in key areas, including skin beauty, new brands innovations and China,” said Yokota.
Shiseido will also continue the global rollout of the latest SHISEIDO Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate which features the company’s research into blood circulation and skin health.
Furthermore, the company will further the international expansion of clean beauty brand Drunk Elephant, which it acquired in 2019 for $845m.
The brand will be launched in Japan in October and will reach the Korean and travel retail markets by the end of 2021.
Investments in China
Furthermore, the company announced it was exploring new investment opportunities in China through a new fund in order to stay ahead of local competition.
President and CEO Masahiko Uotani acknowledged during the latest earnings conference that the company, like the rest of the industry, was keeping an eye on China’s local beauty brands.
“We've been able to grow with the Chinese market, but it's been diversifying again… so we need to adapt to that.”
He noted that the rapid growth of China’s domestic brands paralleled the rise of Generation Z consumers.
“For this generation, since they were born the Chinese economy has always been good. It’s kind of the same in post-World War Japan – the industry grew, and we flourished.”
To continue flourishing in the increasingly competitive Chinese market, the company announced that it will be setting up the Shiseido Beauty Innovations Fund with Boyu Capital, an investment firm headquartered in Shanghai.
“That’s why we have decided to set up this fund with Boyu in China… We want to keep up to date with the Chinese market as these changes happen. We need to continue adapting and changing that’s why we are enhancing our China office as kind of a second headquarters,”
Shiseido said the fund aimed to enhance its portfolio in China and further reinforce its growth in the region as part of its medium-to-long-term strategy.
“The fund will explore to invest money injected by Shiseido into local emerging brands in beauty and wellness, as well as in related technology companies such as e-commerce services and consumer experience technology,” said Yokota.
He added that the company was aiming to launch the fund by the end of the year.
In 2019, Shiseido established the China Business Innovation and Investment Representative Office to promote innovations in existing businesses and new business development responding to the market trends in China.
It expanded in 2020 with a new research branch in The Oriental Beauty Valley.
In the first half of 2021, Shisiedo’s net sales were up 21.5% year on year to JPY507.7bn (U$4.62bn) while operating profit increased JPY26.4bn (U$240.4m) year on year to JPY23bn (U$209.5m).