Estée Lauder's All-Important Skincare Sales Slip, Led by Downturns in Korea and Hong Kong (Fashionista)

One of Kendall Jenner’s recent advertisements for Estée Lauder. Photo: Estée Lauder

For Estée Lauder, skincare is big business, outstripping makeup, fragrance and haircare on the basis of sales. But due to some problems in Asia, the category hit the skids in the final quarter of fiscal 2015 (which ended June 30), with revenue dropping from $1.2 billion last year to $1 billion this time around. Overall sales for the quarter fell, too, down from $2.7 billion in 2014 to $2.5 billion this year.

The reason for the downturn in skincare is a “very specific external issue,” Estée Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda told Fashionista on a phone call Monday morning.  Decreased consumption in Hong Kong and Macau, along with this summer’s outbreak of MERS in Korea, put a damper on consumer spending. (The Wall Street Journal reported in June that South Korean department store sales fell 17 percent in the first week of that month, with venues like amusement parks faring even worse.) Those are big markets for Estée Lauder’s skincare business, which Freda said accounts for between 50 and 60 percent of sales in Asia. He wouldn’t, however, say what percentage of total skincare sales come from the region.

Freda doesn’t think the popularity of skincare products is waning, though. “It’s a very solid long-term category with a short-term issue,” he said.

Makeup, meanwhile, is showing some upward movement, having seen its sales rise 7 percent to $4.3 million over the course of the full year. Among other regions, it’s doing nicely in Estée Lauder’s emerging markets, including Turkey, Brazil and South Africa. But each market favors particular products, Freda says. In Turkey, it’s all about makeup and fragrances, and within makeup, eyeshadows and lipsticks are a strong trend. In Brazil, MAC specifically is taking off, led by its lipsticks. And while Americans are buying a lot of eyeshadow and French women are snapping up lipsticks, the highest consumption of mascara per capita comes from the Nordic countries.

gDiapers Takes New Disposable Diapers to Asian Market with gKorea (PR Newswire)

PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — gDiapers, the company reinventing disposable diapers, with a footprint in the UK, Europe and North America is celebrating its 10 th anniversary with the launch of a new initiative in the Korean market. gKorea is a partnership with Seoul-based Cozy Maman Co., Ltd., distributer of Oregon artisan beer from Nankasi and Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. gKorea is projected to generate 20 percent of gDiapers’ gross revenue over time.

“It’s our first foray into Asia, but it could be bigger than our European business,” said Jason Graham-Nye, co-founder of gDiapers. “There’s a universality among parents who are looking for better ways to diaper their babies.”

According  to Graham-Ney, Korea is an Asian powerhouse with the broadest broadband in the world, making it the ideal market for an ecommerce business followed by shelf space in brick and mortar stores. To that end, gDiapers has launched a Korean website as well as an extensive cross-platform social media presence via Instagram, Facebook, a gKorea blog and mobile app.

“Korean mothers seem particularly attuned to skin care issues so they are drawn to the breathability of all our materials,” added Kim Graham-Nye, Jason’s wife and co-founder of gDiapers.

Like, gDiapers, Cozy Maman is privately held, and family owned. The companies are philosophically aligned with a shared commitment to solving environmental issues and reducing waste. Because Korea is geographically small, densely populated and highly industrialized, an alternative disposable diaper that gives parents the option of flushing their dirty diapers down the toilet is a natural fit. Add to that the unique gBreathe technology for more comfort and less rash, and gDiapers and Cozy Maman are excited about the future.

“It is an honor to have gDiapers here in Korea. We look forward to spreading the word and exposing the wonders of these diapers to all the other Asian countries,” said Mike Chun, president of Cozy Maman.

ABOUT gDIAPERS gDiapers is changing the world of disposable diapers—top to bottom, inside and out. The alternative diaper’s simple system pairs reusable soft cotton gPants diaper covers with disposable inserts that are flushable and compostable (wet ones only). gDiapers inserts are Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver — a mark trusted around the world for ecologically intelligent design. gDiapers is proud to be a Certified B Corporation, using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Founded in 2005, gDiapers is headquartered in Portland, Ore. with offices in the UK, Australia and Korea. Visit for more information.

Media Contact: Laura Spica, APR
865-249-8371 /

SOURCE gDiapers