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In a Bid to Bring ‘Slow’ Skin Care to a New Audience, KraveBeauty Enters Sephora Southeast Asia

KraveBeauty is making its brick-and-mortar debut.

Starting April 18 the “slow” skin care brand, founded by influencer-entrepreneur Liah Yoo in 2017, will roll out to 39 Sephora Southeast Asia doors across Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

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Six of the brand’s stock keeping units will enter the retailer, ranging in price from $16 for the Matcha Heartleaf Hydrating Cleanser — a reformulation of the brand’s Matcha Hemp cleanser, in accordance with hemp restrictions in the region — to $28 for its water cream, kale cleanser and balancing oil alike.

“Since we launched, the number-two to number-five top countries comprising our social media following have been users in Asian countries,” said Yoo, who counts 1.2 million followers on YouTube, her main platform, while KraveBeauty’s Instagram page has 267,000 followers.

Beyond the region’s existing appetite for the brand, Southeast Asia presented a compelling white space for KraveBeauty’s long-held “less is best” philosophy in terms of consumption habits.

“I want [KraveBeauty] to be the first brand that comes to mind when it comes to minimal and intentional skin care in the South Asian market, because I know those markets are very crowded and overwhelming in terms of product choice,” Yoo said. “Expansion is important to us because we don’t want to grow our brand just by launching more products; we want to have more gravity to our voice and I’m a firm believer that you need to get to be a certain size to inform and influence other players in the industry.”

In January, KraveBeauty launched online at Cult Beauty in the U.K. — the first international expansion for the brand, otherwise available direct-to-consumer and on Amazon.

“Even being online-only, that [move] was a big milestone for us — it helped us see what’s possible with strategic retail partnerships,” said Yoo, adding that the brand has long tracked U.K. website visitors who didn’t necessarily convert to sales, in part due to shipping fees and other barriers.

Within 12 months of its initial three-country rollout via Sephora Southeast Asia, the brand will also enter the retailer in the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

The expansion in part serves to test the waters of brick-and-mortar retail for KraveBeauty, which could potentially embark on a U.S. retail foray soon.

“We still have no outside investors, so we want to be very intentional about how we expand; the low-hanging fruit was going internationally first, and then we can refocus on the U.S. in the next year or two,” said Andy Chiu, general manager.

While the brand did not specify sales expectations for the launch, industry sources have pegged KraveBeauty’s annual sales to be in the eight-figure range, standing to potentially double in 2024.

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