Established in 1996 and based in Sweden, Make Up Store is a leading cosmetics brand, founded by CEO and sole owner Mika Liias. As the creative energy behind the brand, his journey to the top has been incredibly fast; less than a decade ago he started his first ever Make Up Store in one of the high streets of Stockholm. The aim was to create ‘a world of colours’, this created a unique concept that had not been seen on the market before.
Today, Make Up Store is one of the fastest-growing companies in Scandinavia, offering a full range of colour cosmetics and assorted and complementary products.
As a young, creative and dynamic company, Make Up Store is always on the frontier of developing innovative products and launching new trends. Within its product line there is a large spectrum of adjustable colours to fit everyone. The products contain rich pigmentation and are produced solely from top quality ingredients. The products have not been tested on animals, neither does the colour cosmetics contain any perfume, which makes the whole range allergy-friendly.
The company currently has 175 points of sale, predominantly in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, but it also operates in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Costa Rica, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, with 2-4 new stores opening every month somewhere around the world. Its outlets include concessions and shop-in-shops in department stores, and franchises. Around 80 per cent of Make Up Store outlets are operated as corporate own-stores.
“We do plan to open a further 30 points of sale this year,” says Liias, “many of which will be concession arrangements with large department stores, including 20 in Scandinavia alone.”
The company is also opening a new outlet in Denver, Colorado in the US and is looking very closely at opportunities in New York City and California; there are new stores planned in Thailand, Poland and Lithuania, and a number of counters scheduled to open within the Australian department store, Myer.
“Of course, the US is very a exciting prospect,” continues Liias. “It is obviously a very strong cosmetics market highly competitive, whilst Asia remains full of opportunity for our brand. Europe too is very exciting at the moment and we are very close to opening new stores in both Germany and Spain.”
Whilst it is true that the global economy has made trading in the retail environment a little more difficult, Make Up Store has found itself in a very fortunate position.
“We have found that the weaker the economy, the more opportunities present themselves,” Liias explains. “There have been many more properties available at more competitive prices, so our expansion has in fact remained the same during the recession!”
So the company is in fact performing very well in the face of the global economic slowdown?
“Yes, you could certainly say that; there were a few tough months towards the end of 2008, but since that time things have improved and we really haven’t been too badly affected. If anything, it has provided us with the opportunity to find new stores and new locations, and to move fast to increase our market share,” he adds.
For the full article, please see the July/August 2010 issue.