Top Retail Brands


“Finding a right retail location is a challenge in India”: Kai Lee

In an exclusive conversation with Kai Lee, Managing Director, Innisfree Cosmetics India Pvt. Ltd. Shed light on growth strategy of the brand.

Tags: Innisfree, beauty, cosmetics, retailing

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  November 28, 2017  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Kai Lee

Kindly shed light on your brand journey so far? What could be major challenges that brand has come so far when it comes to beauty retailing?

It’s been three years since the brand is operating here. So far the response has been extremely encouraging and we see a great opportunity to expand our footprint. However, if I talk about challenges finding a right retail space is really a challenge; in fact, we are ready to open retail stores but we are unable to find the right location. I would say it would be the biggest deterrent for any global brand which is looking to foray Indian market. Moreover, we are also struggling in terms of penetrating the brand further. There are many people in India who don’t know the brand Innisfree well.

So how the response is so far when you acknowledge brand awareness is the challenge for the brand?

We are growing 100% y-on-y basis.  We are getting tremendous response; however, we see a lot of opportunity that still needs to tap.

How many categories you have right now? And, which is your best performing category? Also kindly highlight your starting and exiting price point?

We are skincare, nails, makeup, fragrance and hair. Undoubtedly, skincare is our best performing segment. The starting and exiting price point varies category to category, for example, color cosmetics starts from Rs 100 and skincare range start from Rs. 700. Overall, our exiting price point is Rs. 4500.

What are the plans for category expansion existing or new ones?

We will keep introducing new product. Perfume range was in pipeline since long that we have just introduced. However, we are keen to expand our beauty tools category. We had launched this category while back but due to less traction on this range we could not expand this range. Though, it is a very minuscule category, but we would like to expand it.

What is your current distribution? And, how are you looking to increase the distribution in online and offline channel?

As of now, our store count stands at eight stores including five in Delhi/ NCR and remaining in Mumbai. We are looking to further spend in these two markets and gradually looking to spend in Bengaluru, Chennai and other markets. We aim to open more than 30 stores by 2020. For now, the focus is on metro cities, we might move to tier II cities after solidifying our presence in tier 1 market. In terms of online presence, we are present at  

In fact, we have partnered with two more e-commerce companies that we would announce by next year.

Also shed light on technology that has been introduced today? How do you see this technology will help you in generating the footfalls and conversions?

We have launched Innisfree virtual reality to our retail stores. We want to take the customers virtually to Jeju Island. This is the place where we get all our ingredients to manufacture the product. So, this is our initiative to educate our customers and same time creating the in-store engagement using technology.  We also get many mother shoppers; this is the excellent opportunity to engage their young ones while they are shopping.

What is the average number of footfall that the brand gets to its stores?

On an average we get 300 walk-ins every day.

Any plans to start franchise model as far as franchise expansion is concerned?

As of now, the focus is only on company owned stores.

Going forward the focus will be on mall locations only? What are the plans for large format stores?  Also are you open to mark your presence in   multi brand departmental stores?

We will continue to open at mall locations; however, depending upon the catchment we would decide on location. Our average store size is 600 sq.ft, and going forward we would open large format stores as well. As shop-in-shop model is concerned we would be open to players such as Sephora.

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