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10 Dec

LVMH-owned Cha Ling Shuts Stores In China – WWD

SHANGHAI — LVMH Moët Hennessy-owned Cha Ling is the newest skincare brand to shut its brick-and-mortar operations within the China market after COVID-19-related disruptions.

Founded in 2016, Cha Ling is a luxury skincare brand based on pu’er tea culled from China’s Yunnan Province and developed into formulations in France.

After launching at Le Bon Marché in 2016, Cha Ling expanded to Hong Kong and mainland China in 2017. In the next years, Cha Ling opened three independent stores in Chinese shopping malls, including Shanghai HKRI Taikoo Hui, Shanghai IFC, and Hangzhou’s MixC Mall.

In accordance with Dianping, the Chinese version of Yelp, Cha Ling’s Pudong and Hangzhou stores have closed in recent times. The brand announced the closure of the HKRI Taikoo Hui store this June as town emerged from a two-month lockdown. The shop closure was aimed toward “optimizing the brand’s retail strategy,” in line with Cha Ling’s official Wechat account.

After ceasing independent stores’ operations, Cha Ling closed its Wechat Mini Program store, however the brand still operates an official Tmall store.

Cha Ling products can be present in greater than 310 Sephora stores in 87 Chinese cities. In accordance with the LVMH-owned beauty retailer, sales at Sephora retail channels reached over 100 million renminbi, or $14 million, within the three years ending July.

Under Sephora, Cha Ling launched the Beau-Tea Class, a skincare workshop based on traditional acupressure massages and cleansing routines.

Cha Ling products are also featured in spas at five-star hotels, including Shanghai’s Peninsula Hotel, The Middle House Shanghai and Beijing’s Puxuan Hotel & Spa.

Cha Ling was founded by Laurent Boillot, who was Guerlain’s chief executive officer and is currently the chief executive officer of Maison Hennessy.

During a visit to Yunnan, Boillot met German ecologist Josef Margraf, who, along with his wife, former journalist Minguo Li, was working on restoring the local biodiversity system.

After Margraf died in 2010, Boillot set on incubating the Cha Ling brand, which might carry on Margraf’s mission of reviving the natural ecosystem in Yunnan. A portion of Cha Ling’s profit goes to the Tea Garden project, which is able to proceed to contribute to the reforestation and planting of tea trees within the Pu’er region of Yunnan.

This November, Cha Ling was showcased on the Sephora booth in the course of the fifth edition of the CIIE fair. “We are going to proceed to interact with Chinese consumers and develop more progressive products that cater to the local needs and to supply Chinese consumers with luxurious skincare experiences in addition to genuinely memorable services,” Angela Shum, brand general manager of Cha Ling Greater China, said on the fair.

Cha Ling isn’t the primary brand aimed toward combining traditional Asian ingredients with Western skincare formulations.

In 2012, Estée Lauder launched Osiao, a premium skincare brand developed for the Chinese market. In 2019, Procter & Gamble got down to revive Oriental Therapy, a premium Chinese herbal medicine-inspired skincare brand initially launched in 2013.

This November, L’Oréal unveiled a K-beauty brand called Shihyo. The luxurious skincare brand is infused with 24 herbal ingredients and combines fermented rice water and ginseng water.

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