Aesop Gets Green Light to Open in China. Who's Next?

    Cruelty-free brands Aesop and The Body Shop are opening stores in China, as the country drops its animal testing requirement from imported cosmetic brands.
    Rising demand and fierce competition for a stake in Aesop signal growing interest in the clean beauty market. Photo: Shutterstock.
      Published   in Beauty

    What happened

    During its Q4 and Full Fiscal Year 2020 report, the beauty conglomerate Natura & Co., reported that its two cruelty-free brands, Aesop and The Body Shop, will enter China’s vast beauty market. The news comes following the long-awaited announcement from Chinese authorities to end animal testing requirements for imported beauty products. Roberto Marques, Chairman of Natura & Co., revealed that the two brands are in the process of registering their products in the mainland and that Aesop is expected to open its first store in Shanghai in the fourth quarter of 2021, while The Body Shop’s first store is planned for 2022.

    The Jing Take

    : Following increased competition post-COVID-19, it’s no surprise Natura & Co took an accelerated path into China. Aesop and The Body Shop already have impressive sales through cross border e-commerce platform Tmall. The former has generated over 24.3 million sales since joining in 2018, helped by over 20,000 bits of user generated content (UGC) on Little Red Book. Meanwhile, the latter has nearly 8,000 UGC, with one product, the Ginger Shampoo, topping the favorite list for preventing hair loss.

    Also, the two brands have already established a great reputation and a steady base of followers in China. And their official entry in the market is expected to further boost sales, as well as meet little competition from current market players. However, as more and more cruelty-free brands enter the Chinese market — and try to take advantage of the many profitable opportunities that comes with it — their entrance will undoubtedly spike a rise in the cruelty-free beauty trend in the Chinese beauty market, which both Aesop and The Body Shop are hoping to take advantage of.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

    Discover more
    Daily BriefAnalysis, news, and insights delivered to your inbox.