In the face of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company took steps to strengthen the foundation of its business – that meant going back to its roots as an expert in skin care.
“Last year, as we faced [COVID-19] we had an idea to rebuild better. In the next two or three years until 2023, we want our core business to be stronger, which is skin care where we have long expertise in R&D, expertise in marketing… My goal in the next three years is really to get our corporate foundation stronger by using skin care ”,Uotani said.
Last August, Shiseido announced that it was selling three of its makeup brands to focus on high-end skin care. This followed the decision to get rid of its entire personal care division, which consisted of brands like Senka.
“We have decided to make the difficult decision to divest the perfume and makeup brands and this will put us in a financially independent position with better profitability, better operating margins and cash. “Uotani said.
He said this would allow the company to operate from a position of financial strength for the next five to six years.
The company is not ruling out investing in makeup or perfumes in the future, but it should consider the profitability of these categories.
“The key principle is that it has to be a profitable business… So if we’re going into makeup, there should be some level of financial strength that should be profitable. The same goes for perfumes.
Shiseido’s priority now will be its investments in skin care, which Uotani says will remain the reigning category of beauty.
“The first is to strengthen the skin care category because there are many emerging segments in the overall skin care category. I don’t believe it’s just going to go away, but it’s going to get even bigger. “
Beauty beyond cosmetics
The company believes that the next step in its growth lies in the beauty and wellness area.
“Skin care is so much about your internal health. And using a data platform… we can get all the consumer data – what you eat, what you drink, the quality of your sleep that affects your skin conditions ”, Uotani said.
In 2019, the company launched Optune, a personalized skin care system that analyzes and collects data on the skin, measuring factors such as sleep to dispense a tailored serum for the day.
Uotani concluded: “We will deliver holistic value to the consumer. This is the next type of business model that we are going to build. This is the journey of transformation from here to say, the next 10 years until 2030. “
At the same time, the company will use the cash generated by the divestitures to invest in digital technology as well as in its manufacturing capabilities.
Company unveiled three new factories in Japan with Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities “This will help our company a lot in the near future”,Uotani said.