Korean cosmetics brand Missha has apparently shut up shop in Hong Kong.
Staff and customers alike turned up to the brand’s 20 stores across the city on Friday to find signs attached to the protective roller doors with messages along the lines of: “Missha is not available to serve you and we apologise for any inconvenience caused”.
News organisations in Hong Kong have been unable to track down store managers or head office staff and have concluded the brand is exiting the market. Even one mall manager revealed the first he knew of the brand’s demise was discovering the store shuttered inside his mall after New Year.
Joe Lin, an executive director of property consultant CBRE’s retail services in Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post newspaper he suspected the brand was a victim of fierce competition rather than high rents.
“South Korean cosmetics brands can become popular rapidly and easily, but that popularity can fade fast too,” he observed.
“The newcomers offer a greater variety of products for younger shoppers at more prime locations, which has fuelled competition,” he told the newspaper.
Missha entered Hong Kong in 2004, four years after its launch in Korea. But during the last two years it has faced tough competition from new rival brands, including Etude House and Nature Republic.
The suddenness of Missha’s Hong Kong closure is illustrated by its Facebook page (which has a mere 37,969 followers), which featured a promotion posted on New Year’s Eve.