M Plaza, a Melbourne-based cosmetic store specialising in Asian products, is planning to open 10 stores across Australia in the next two years.
Established in 2016 by Osong C&F, a hair and beauty product wholesaler, M Plaza currently stocks over 100 beauty brands and 3200 skus from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand.
Osong C&F marketing manager Joe Weby Suliyanto says the company launched the store to meet the increased demand for Asian beauty products, particularly K-beauty products, created by “the hike in migration and an increasingly multicultural society” as well as “the influence of Korea’s entertainment industry and millennials willing to try different brands”.
M Plaza recorded $2.8 million in sales in its first year of trading and has been “growing steadily” since.
“We pride ourselves as being one of the most complete retail stores that carries the most product range providing the best selections.”
Although the store, which is located in Melbourne’s CBD, is extremely popular with local and interstate Asian-Australians, Joe stresses that it is aimed at all Australians.
“Our goal is not to solely target them [Asian-Australians] but to introduce the brands that we carry and the culture of Korean Beauty to all of Australia,” he says.
“We want all Australians to know that Korean beauty products are now an option for them too.”
Although Korean, and other Asian, beauty brands are available to Australians online, Joe says the company decided to launch a bricks-and-mortar store because customers need “personal interactions and expertise” when buying cosmetics – particularly ones they are unfamiliar with.
“Cosmetics are a ‘sensitive’ product,” he says. “Everyone will have a different reaction to different brands.”
“We therefore employ professional staff who understand the products and can help customers choose the best ones for their skin condition.”
In addition, M Plaza is planning to offer beauty treatments such as eyelash extensions, makeup application and facials so that it is “a one-stop total beauty solution” – “something that online stores can’t compete with”.
He says Osong C&F is planning to start opening M Plaza franchise stores later this year.
“We strongly believe that the Asian brand cosmetic products will flourish in Australia.”
Pointing out that Sephora already stocks Asian brands such as Dr Jart, Leneige and 3CE while Myer stocks Tony Moly, he stresses “this is just the mere beginning as there will be more Korean beauty products launching in Australia in the near future”.