Japan’s Athletia lands in UK in October to kick off European expansion


The brand was launched in February 2020 by E’quipe Ltd., a subsidiary of Kao Corporation which also owns cult classics J-beauty RMK and SUQQU.

Athletia was created to take advantage of the growing influence of wellness and mindfulness among consumers. Since its launch, it has positioned itself as a leader of the beauty movement unique to Japan.

For example, the brand cultivates its raw materials like ashitaba and perilla leaves in a circular farming system where it claims to control all processes, from soil preparation to extraction.

All the brand’s products bear the index of natural origin in accordance with the international standard ISO16128.

Additionally, product packaging is primarily made from over 90% recycled glass and 100% recycled paper. The brand has also partnered with recycling company TerraCycle to launch a container collection program.

Athletia unveiled a flagship in the upscale Omotesandō neighborhood that serves as a retail as well as lifestyle space with a studio that hosts mediation and yoga workshops. The brand has also expanded its product line and partnered with brands such as Lululemon for pop-up events.

However, the company is now aiming for international expansion. It announced its UK launch via a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) website on October 6.

The company believes the brand will do well in the European region, which it sees as the “House of clean beauty“.

Although there are already many own beauty brands in the market, she believes that Athletia will set itself apart by building on its J-beauty roots and emphasizing the quality of its products and the use of advanced technologies.

Build a presence in Europe

Initially, the company said it would focus on DTC as it builds brand awareness in the UK. She plans to operate her own e-commerce website and focus on communicating directly with her target audience through social media channels.

The company will then begin researching third-party ecommerce partners and expand into physical stores in 2022.

Given the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the retail market, the company said it will look to work with retail partners who have “High visibility online”.

He sees the expansion in the UK as forming a stronghold in Europe where he will plan his expansion to “Large European countries”in the next three years.

Previously, CosmeticsDesign-Asia reported that Kao is working to strengthen its cosmetics business by focusing on overseas markets, such as Europe, where it sees huge potential for its brands such as SUQQU.

Last June, SUQQU debuted at French department store Le Bon Marché as part of the company’s plan to expand its presence in the region since its launch in the UK in 2006.

In April of this year, SENSAI launched an official online store in Europe to serve the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy.


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