Physical stores critical to DR PLANT's branding, expansion

Physical stores are a crucial part for the company's brand building and establishing trust among shoppers, and it looks to expand with new store openings and retail presence.
Physical stores critical to DR PLANTs branding, expansion
Ti Gong

DR PLANT opened its 4,000th retail store on Wujiang Road in Jing'an District earlier this week.

Twenty-seven years after establishing the homegrown pure natural beauty brand DR PLANT, President of the Beijing DR PLANT Biotechnology Co., Ltd. Xie Yong said he’s more confident than ever that local brands will prosper in the coming years.

DR PLANT opened its 4,000th retail store on Wujiang Road in Jing’an District earlier this week.

Speaking at the new store, Xie said because Shanghai shoppers are more demanding, he hopes to bring the latest offerings and get local consumers’ feedback.

Physical stores are a crucial part for the company’s brand building and establishing trust among shoppers, and it looks to expand with new store openings and retail presence.

“We have successfully differentiated our brand positioning and therefore need to further enhance research and development efforts after accumulating enough resources from our established retail channels,” said Xie.

Technology advances have allowed effective ingredients to be better distracted and made more suitable when applied to human skin, Xie said, adding that he sees big potential in the skincare and beauty market in the future.

As consumers become more informed and eager to learn about the efficacy of active ingredients in skincare products, years of R&D have paid off.

Having achieved a 10 percent sales increase in the past year, Xie said he’s confident the company will continue to grow thanks to its continuous efforts to stay connected with consumers and deep R&D resources.

DR PLANT now has more than 10 million members and is present in over 300 foreign and domestic cities.

The company has continued to add physical stores in key business districts in cities like Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Osaka.

By working with top researchers in Japan, it has enhanced brand awareness among overseas shoppers.

“We remain very confident about future expansion in overseas markets, and as China’s economy rebounds we feel it’s crucial to expedite the pace of overseas expansion,” he said. “I believe our strong foothold in our home country is a powerful impetus for overseas expansion.”

Initial overseas expansion has raised brand recognition with the successful opening of premium stores in top locations like Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and downtown Jing’an District.

Even if digital channels like online flagship stores and mini sites offer convenient shopping, physical stores are still crucial in building brand awareness and an essential part of the company’s overall brand strategy.

As department stores embrace digital transformation, it provides an opportunity for DR PLANT to reposition its retailing channels and better target potential customers.

“We want to ensure the effectiveness of plant extraction for skincare and will keep R&D our core strategy in the coming years,” he said.

DR PLANT is the first beauty and skincare brand to team up with the Kunming Institute of Botany at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which released a dendrobium-focused skincare product. Positioned as Plateau plants, Pure beauty, it is also the only brand that takes Chinese plateau plants as the main raw materials of skincare products so far.

Since the creation of a plant research center at the Kunming Institute of Botany in 2014, it has offered a wide range of skincare products based on the active ingredient from the dendrobium plant.

This active ingredient is now found in its newly released skincare collection to appeal to natural and organic buyers who are environmentally conscious.

The United Nations Development Programme signed a memorandum of understanding with DR PLANT last October to collaborate in biodiversity conservation.

The cooperation will serve as a blueprint for public-private partnerships to achieve sustainable development goals in China through shared expertise and innovative solutions.

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