Following its debut flagship in Times Square this summer, the second store of Dutch bath-and-body label Rituals in Hong Kong launched yesterday at IFC.
The brand plans to open two more stores in the city this year, along with its first travel-retail venture in South Korea.
Two decades after its launch, the concept of “slowing down” which Rituals’ promotes as the founding pillar of the brand, was probably a little ahead of its time. Now, however, the ‘mindfulness and wellness’ trend is both well established and growing.
Raymond Cloosterman, founder and CEO, told Inside Retail Asia that Rituals in Hong Kong has received a positive reception since its launch there: “The people of Hong Kong have really embraced our ‘slow-down’ ethos, promoting the importance of self care for body, mind and spirit. We look forward to making Rituals accessible to new audiences in Hong Kong as we expand in the future.
“Besides this there is a clear, strong positioning and tangible consistency in everything the brand presents, from product to packaging to our retail concept. And quality for an affordable price is another cornerstone of our strategy.”
Digital plans and future growth
With a historic presence in concessions, especially in travel retail, Rituals has more recently been focusing on expanding with standalone stores. In Asia Pacific, it plans to continue developing this model with more than 10 new travel-retail locations to open this year.
While a European brand, the roots and ideology of Rituals was inspired by Eastern philosophy.
“Asia was always in the long-term global vision for Rituals and we are so happy and proud to have opened our first store in Hong Kong,” Cloosterman said. “You can almost say it’s where Rituals was really founded, since the ideology of the brand is very much inspired by honouring Eastern philosophy.”
Cloosterman believes the brand resonates with all ages, however its core target group in Hong Kong, is females aged 20-45.
To embark on its Asia expansion, Rituals had opened up a new regional head office and warehouse facility in Hong Kong. Now it is turning its focus to digital engagement as well.
“Hong Kong is a true metropolis as well as a leader in the digital retail experience,” Cloosterman told Inside Retail Asia. “To be at the centre of it provides a great opportunity for Rituals to launch our brand.
“We are constantly working on our digital proposition as it is one of our four pillars aside from Domestic Retail, Travel Retail and Wholesale.”
The brand will also be launching its own e-commerce store soon, along with a Rituals app that provides guided meditations and yoga classes.