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CJ Olive Young to speed up online push ahead of IPO next year

CJ Olive Young CEO Koo Chang-geun speaks at a press event at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul on Friday. (CJ Olive Young)
CJ Olive Young CEO Koo Chang-geun speaks at a press event at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul on Friday. (CJ Olive Young)

Health and beauty store chain CJ Olive Young plans to go beyond brick-and-mortar retail and transform itself into an “omnichannel platform” that connects e-commerce with offline retail, ahead of its plans to go public next year.

“No one inside the company defines Olive Young as a health and beauty store. We see our brand as an omnichannel platform,” Olive Young CEO Koo Chang-geun said at a press event at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul on Friday.

The renewed push to reposition itself as an omnichannel platform is widely seen as an effort to raise its valuation as much as possible ahead of its initial public offering plans for 2022. 

CJ Olive Young is also a key affiliate for CJ group, with close links to the ownership structure of the retail and entertainment giant.

“People ask if there is any more room for a dominant player like Olive Young to grow. But if we look at the entire beauty industry (and not just the health and beauty store market) there is more room,” the CEO said.

The company’s Olive Young chain boasts a whopping 85 percent market share, with its sales exceeding 2.4 trillion won ($2.03 billion) this year, a robust 13 percent growth from last year despite the protracted pandemic.

But Koo said the company has a long way to go, citing a modest 14 percent market share in the beauty retail market as a whole, where a slew of potent players compete fiercely, from luxury department stores to small boutiques.

Koo said an underwriter for the IPO has been decided, but declined to elaborate.

As part of its renewed online push, Koo said its last-mile delivery service will be further strengthened amid slowing sales at offline stores.

The last-mile delivery service aims to deliver orders to customers’ doors within three hours by using inventory at the company’s retail stores instead of at remote warehouses.

More resources also will be poured into revamping its online platform, the company said, adding that the platform has full potential to grow as an export gateway for K-beauty products, which are increasingly gaining popularity among international customers.

By Kang Jae-eun (kang.jaeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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