escentials is a multi-brand retailer of luxury niche fragrances and cosmetic products under Singapore-based distributor, LUXASIA. It houses brands such as Acqua di Parma, BYREDO and Penhaligon's.
“We have more than 20 years of credibility and I would say we are an authority on luxury niche fragrances. Since then, we’ve kept it very much in Singapore, but we feel that consumers all over Asia and we at LUXASIA always meet the consumer when they are ready,” said chief commercial officer, Karen Ong.
Since it started in Singapore in 2001 and now has three doors in its home market.
The firm began expanding the retail brand outside of Singapore in 2021 to Malaysia. This year, it expanded to Thailand and Vietnam.
Speaking exclusively to CosmeticsDesign-Asia, Ong revealed the firm’s ambitious plans to introduce escentials to more markets in the coming years.
“We're talking about expanding to new markets like Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, and Macau. We are going beyond SEA into the wider Asian region.”
In addition to new markets, the company also has plans to open more doors in Malaysia and Thailand.
“Definitely expect to see more of us across the region. We've already lined up locations in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam,” said Ong.
The expansion of escentials is a direct response to the growing demand for luxury niche beauty products among consumers. The firm believes this trend will continue despite economic instability.
“We’re privileged to partner some of the best brands. There will always be demand for these brands, whether it’s in Vietnam where we are seeing exponential growth, or a mature market like Singapore,” said Ong.
This expansion drive is part of LUXASIA’s transformation strategy to be “more direct-to-consumer”, Ong told us.
“We pride ourselves in being the leading and largest omnichannel distributor, which means we need to be in the direct-to-consumer channel as well and we need to be leading in that channel. To remain very relevant in the beauty arena, we need to be where the consumers want to be, which is in this branded, very experiential, highly engaging kind of retail space.”
She added that while e-commerce is still growing, that growth has slowed since the COVID-19 boom.
“If you look at the market trends, it’s the standalone stores, freestanding stores that are the growing channel.”
Against the backdrop of the current market volatility, Ong said LUXASIA was committed to the expansion of escentials.
“We take these calculated risks because we’re in it for the long haul. We’re not playing a short-term game. We’re here for the long term, to delight the consumers for a long time to come. These peaks and troughs should not bother our strategy.”