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Olive Young to reinvent itself as omnichannel platform ahead of IPO

CJ Olive Young CEO Koo Chang-geun (Source: CJ Olive Young)

No one inside South Korean retailer Olive Young defines the company as a health and beauty store, according to CEO Koo Chang-Geun, announcing plans for the company to reinvent itself as an ‘omnichannel platform. 

As the company counts down to an IPO next year, Koo has explained during a press event that the company is looking beyond its traditional brick-and-mortar retail business. 

“People ask if there is any more room for a dominant player like Olive Young to grow,” he told the gathering in Seoul. “But if we look at the entire beauty industry (and not just the health and beauty store market) there is more room,” as translated by the Korea Herald.

In South Korea, Olive Young holds a market share of 85 per cent in the mass-market brick-and-mortar health and beauty space. Sales last year surged 13 per cent to US$2.03 billion. But Koo says that figure is misleading because when beauty product sales through luxury department stores, independently-branded boutiques and online are included, Olive Young has a more modest 14 per cent share. 

Now the company is looking at building out its online platform to attract orders from overseas customers, creating what Koo describes as an export gateway for K-beauty.  

Olive Young is also strengthening its last-mile delivery service to offer three-hour deliveries for online sales, shipping products from its store network instead of from centralised warehouses. Koo expects this will help the brand increase its share of e-commerce sales in the health and beauty category. 

The company will also invest in the development and improvement of its domestic e-commerce offering.

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