Describes the multinational growth of Shiseido, the world’s fourth largest cosmetics company, with a focus on strategy in China since 1981. Examines the challenges faced by companies in the globalization of a culturally specific industry such as cosmetics. The Japanese company displayed an early interest in international expansion, but also its first investments were lost during the Second World War. The next step was to build companies in Europe and North America, but has been challenged by market conditions … Read more »

Describes the multinational growth of Shiseido, the world’s fourth largest cosmetics company, with a focus on strategy in China since 1981. Examines the challenges faced by companies in the globalization of a culturally specific industry such as cosmetics. The Japanese company displayed an early interest in international expansion, but also its first investments were lost during the Second World War. The next step was to build companies in Europe and North America, but has been challenged by market conditions quite different than in Japan. Even within the home market, deregulation and the entry of foreign companies in the 1990s led to a significant loss of market share. Shiseido entered China in 1981 and built Aupres, a large cosmetics brand specifically for Chinese women. Further growth followed, and in 2003 plans were announced to build a large network of voluntary chain stores. Highlights managerial responsibilities challenges of growing the China business further in the face of increasing competition and provides a framework for discussing the challenges of prioritizing the allocation of resources in a global economy.
«Hide

from
Geoffrey G. Jones,
Akiko Kanno,
Masako Egawa
Source: Harvard Business School
28 pages.
Publication Date: Oct 14, 2004. Prod #: 805003-PDF-ENG
Making China Beautiful: Shiseido and the China market HBR case solution