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Australia’s Mecca moves into China

Australian beauty retailer Mecca is entering the competitive Chinese market and launching its luxury flagship store at online marketplace Tmall today.

Known for its curation of niche and luxury local and international cosmetics, the brand has launched an edit of 22 first-to-market brands at its Tmall store, including its private label brands, Mecca Brands and Mecca Max. Mecca’s Beauty Loop loyalty program will also now be available to Chinese customers.

“I started Mecca with the desire to make every customer look and feel their best. From our very first store in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra, to now launching in China our second international market, we have stayed true to this philosophy over the last 23 years,” said Mecca founder Jo Horgan in a statement. 

“I am thrilled that we are assisting Chinese customers, some of the most well-informed beauty shoppers in the world, to unearth incredible new brands and products and know that once they experience the Mecca magic, it will be love at first ‘add to cart’.”

Celebrations will kick off today in Shanghai in the penthouse of luxury hotel Middle House, and will be attended by more than 100 Chinese media and key opinion leaders, while Horgan live streams from Melbourne.

Horgan opened Mecca’s first shop in 1997 and the well-loved beauty business has since grown to 100 stores in Australia and New Zealand, along with e-commerce in both markets.

“The idea was to bring these innovative brands into a service-driven, luxury boutique environment where women could shop across all brands and customise the product offer to suit their specific needs and wants,” Horgan told Inside Retail in 2017.

“Our goal was to take someone from a beauty novice to feeling like an expert in a single session, and for a makeup artist to feel like they had found their nirvana – we really wanted everyone to feel welcome, in control and walking out having had a great time.”   

While some beauty brands have avoided the Chinese market as legislation mandates cosmetic products in government laboratories must be tested on animals, many others such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and The Body Shop have found a loophole by selling on cross-border e-commerce platforms such as Tmall and JD. 

Several brands now available at Mecca’s Tmall store are vegan and cruelty-free. 

According to a report from AlixPartners last year, 90 per cent of those Chinese millennial customers surveyed indicated that purchasing ‘healthy or clean products’ was of importance to them. 

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