GS Retail to exit beauty market, closing all Lalavla stores

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GS Retail Co announces it will close all of its Lalavla stores – 17 years after entering the health and beauty (H&B) store market – due to falling sales amid the coronavirus pandemic and competition fierce.

GS Retail will stop operating its Lalavla online stores in September and close all of the brand’s offline stores by the end of November, the company said.

“GS Retail has decided to end our health and beauty store business to focus our resources and efforts on our convenience stores and quick commerce services, the future growth drivers of the business,” said a company official.

GS Retail, which also operates GS25 convenience stores, first entered the H&B store business in 2005, opening the first Watsons store in the bustling university district of Hongdae, north of Seoul, as part of a joint venture with AS Watson Group of Hong Kong.

In 2017, GS Retail fully acquired the joint venture, Watsons Korea, and renamed it Lalavla a year later.

After the number of Lalavla stores jumped to nearly 200, it dropped sharply to about 30 this year due to tough market conditions since the pandemic and fierce competition from industry No. 1 CJ Olive Young. .

With GS Retail out of the market, CJ Olive Young will likely solidify its position as the market leader, as other smaller players have also reduced their activities in the sector.

Shinsegae closed all of its Boots stores early, and Lotte recently reduced its LOHB business to reduce spending.

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