Welcia-BHG Singapore is a joint venture between AEON subsidiary Welcia Holdings and Chinese retailer Beijing Hualian Group (BHG).
With several health and beauty chains in Singapore, Welcia-BHG has made it a point to carve out a place for itself in the market as a J-beauty specialist.
“It’s a matter of differentiation. There are other pharmacy chains, so to differentiate ourselves, we have to bring a lot more exclusive Japanese products. It’s our strength.”said Felicia Ong, Head of Merchandising at Welcia-BHG.
According to Ong, proprietary products make up about 40% of Welcia-BHG’s product line across all categories, from skincare to dietary supplements.
This year, the company was thrilled to introduce more exclusive J-beauty brands, including Japanese singer Koda Kumi’s up-and-coming skincare brand Aveaute.
Additionally, he introduced mineral skincare and makeup brand Only Minerals to fill a gap in the clean beauty space for mineral beauty products.
“When I decided what to bring, I saw that the market lacked mineral cosmetics. There are many brands in Europe for example but not in Singapore. I see a lot of potential for Only Minerals because people now prefer something something that is not so aggressive and more natural”, says Ong.
The company also launched Resta, a skincare brand jointly developed by Welcia Holdings and Rohto Pharmaceutical and launched for the first time in Japan.
“It’s easy to see why we introduced this brand. It is first of all a collaboration between Rhoto and Welcia in Japan. It was also developed for young consumers interested in preventative skin care against aging. I see a demand for it and also because it’s a simple brand I thought it would be good to introduce it,” says Ong.
Additionally, Welcia-BHG launched its first skincare brand this year, after five years in Singapore. The brand currently consists of a single product, a 3-in-1 cloth face mask and is exclusively available at Welcia-BHG stores.
“We have been [in Singapore] for five years now. Our sales history tells us that sheet masks are pretty strong in terms of sales. We also observed market leaders and saw an opportunity to develop something different,” says Ong.
The development of Ojo was in line with the company’s strategic plans to focus heavily on exclusive products from Japan.
Ong explained that Ojo was influenced by the need for multifunctional products.
“The consumer these days is very busy, and they want a few benefits in one, rather than one specific for anti-aging or whitening. So we saw an opportunity for this concept.
The face mask consists of ingredients such as niacinamide, snow mushroom extract as well as Japanese moon jellyfish extract. According to the company, it helps fight aging, brighten the skin, moisturize it, soothe it as well as help heal wounds.
Since its launch in January this year, Ong has told us that sales and feedback have been positive. The company believes there will be demand for Ojo in Japan and is preparing to launch it next year with its parent company.
Going forward, Ong said the company is working to bring more J-beauty exclusives, not only in skincare or makeup, but also in haircare. Indeed, Welcia-BHG has seen healthy growth in the hair care space.
“What we’ve realized is that young consumers, in particular, don’t see hair care as one product for the whole family, unlike body washes. Each family member has personal requirements and needs, so everyone wants their own personal treatments.