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[Herald Interview] German direct selling for readies Asia foray --- from Korea

LR Health & Beauty CEO Andreas Friesch (LR Health & Beauty)
LR Health & Beauty CEO Andreas Friesch (LR Health & Beauty)

Germany’s leading multi-level marketing and direct sales firm LR Health & Beauty is building its business presence here, in hopes of expanding beyond Korea into the Asia region, its chief executive said.

“It is great to see how LR has developed over the last few years. We have reached decisive milestones,” Andreas Friesch, who has led the company since 2018, said in an interview with The Korea Herald. “The expansion to South Korea is one of them,” he added.

Last November, the company -- which sells cosmetics, skin care products, perfumes and functional foods in 28 countries -- opened an office in Gangnam, southern Seoul, which serve as its regional headquarters. According to Friesch, the company is currently concentrating on recruiting new distribution partners and developing “a strong LR community” here.

According to Friesch, South Korea is a perfect fit for LR‘s business model, products and incentives and the country could become one of its top markets in the coming years.

“South Korea is our gateway to Asia and will play a key role in LR’s future expansion success. In a further step, we will examine what other opportunities might be there for us in Asia.”

The firm has so far introduced a total of 12 different types of products, including four functional food products and eight skin care products, to the Korean market.

Of the 12, the CEO expressed confidence in its Aloe vera-based products.

Aloe vera-based products have been the major competence of the direct sales company for more than 17 years, according to Friesch. With an annual processing of around 12,000 tons of Aloe vera leaves, LR says it is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of Aloe vera products.

“We are particularly proud of our production facility for Aloe Vera Drinking Gels at our headquarters in Germany. It is considered the most modern facility in Europe,” Friesch said.

Friesch also boasted about the company’s investment in developing digital tools, while mentioning of its self-developed app LR Connect, an application that is designed to support its sales partners and simplify communication within the company‘s community,

“Direct sales is changing,” Friesch said. “Especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, digitization has become even more important. At LR, we believe that the future lies in a healthy mix of on and offline working methods,” he added.

To raise brand recognition among local consumers, the company also has appointed Cha Bum-kun, the legendary Korean football star who played in the German Bundesliga, as the its ambassador

“(LR Health & Beauty) would like to write LR history in South Korea together with Cha Bum-kun. We are proud to be able to win him as an ambassador and are very happy about the cooperation,” Friesch said.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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