What Happened: Dior is expanding its bid on China’s booming wellness sector. On June 29, the house opened its Dior Luxury Beauty Retreat at Shanghai’s IFC Mall. The salon, which hosts facial and body treatment suites, is the brand’s first permanent one in Mainland China, providing everything from tissue massages to specialised treatments for men.
Dior Beauty already runs a membership program that rewards customers’ purchases with redeemable points for facials in selected cities. Now, customers can enjoy the house’s salon-exclusive products at the newly-opened outpost, in addition to its widely available beauty line.
The Jing Take: Today’s Chinese shoppers prioritise healthy lifestyles and self-care more than ever before. Before the term “wellness” was introduced to the market, the idea of yangsheng (Chinese for maintaining one’s mental and physical health) had traditional and medicinal connotations, and was more popular among older cohorts. That’s no longer the case, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the shift. Amid ongoing uncertainty, consumer demand for wellness is soaring and younger generations have driven the trend by seeking out ways to reduce stress from their hectic lifestyles and curb their anxieties about the future.
The 2020 China Beauty Service Industry Report, jointly published by Meituan and China’s Chamber of Commerce, estimated that the size of China’s beauty service industry (excluding the products themselves) amounted to $95.24 billion (637.3 billion RMB) in 2020, and forecasted it would reach $125 billion (837.5 billion RMB) by 2025.
While the mainland’s wellness sector is still nascent when compared to the West, there’s room for brands to nab market share and salons are becoming an increasingly lucrative bet. According to Research and Markets, the US’ beauty service market was estimated to be worth $37.6 billion in 2020 while China was forecast to reach a projected market size of $39.2 billion by 2027.
Luxury houses able to not only create products but provide branded services for customers are primed to reap the rewards of the fast-growing space. The premium skin and body treatments provided by the likes of La Mer, La Prairie, and Sisley are already popular among Chinese beauty lovers. These treatments, described as “noble women treatment (贵妇护理),” have already garnered over 24,000 user generated posts on Xiaohongshu. With ample room for growth, could beauty salons become the next golden ticket for luxury houses looking to lure China’s high-net-worth individuals? One thing is for sure: Dior always has its eye on the prize.