The Nation



Three execs take over TFS (Thailand), plan more The Face Shop outlets

A TRIO OF young executives - Pitharn Ongkosit, Thana Thianatchariya and Mahithorn Pongsarat - have joined hands in the takeover of TFS (Thailand), which holds the local distribution rights for The Face Shop business in Thailand.

Operated by former managing director Nuttayoot Apiratikiat, TFS (Thailand) started to run The Face Shop business here since 2008, with the first store at CentralWorld shopping complex. The company now operates about 20 The Face Shop stores in Thailand.

Skincare products and cosmetics from South Korea have become increasingly popular among Thai consumers and, seeing this trend, the three executives have decided to invest more than Bt100 million in taking the brand to the next level through a comprehensive marketing campaign, store expansion, store renovation and digital marketing activities.

They say product pricing will also be more appealing, more in line with similar products in Korea. The brand aims to win hearts of more young people while launch a number of new products.

A sales target of Bt150 million has been set for this year, and the brand aspires to become one of Thailand's top three skincare and cosmetics brands from Korea within two years.

"We have conducted a comprehensive study into the growth potential of various businesses in Thailand and we have found that skincare products and cosmetics from South Korea have seen robust and consistent growth. The business still has potential to grow even bigger in the Thai market," said Pitharn, managing director of TFS (Thailand).

He said The Face Shop was currently the best-selling skincare and cosmetics brand in South Korea and he was quite confident that it had what it takes to win the hearts of Thai consumers.

The products are made from natural ingredients and specially formulated for Asian skin, the company claims.

Thais are paying more and more attention to personal beauty care and they tend to appreciate products inspired by nature, TFS believes.

"The takeover became effective on March 1, and we have spent the past four to five months planning our marketing strategy and putting together a team of professionals experienced in the skincare and cosmetics business," Pitharn said.

"We have allocated a budget of more than Bt100 million for marketing activities and store expansion. We currently operate with 20 stores and plan to open 10 new stores this year, 15 more in 2015, and 25 in 2016.

"We have set a sales target of Bt150 million this year, and anticipate twofold sales growth in the following years. We also set our expectations high to become one of Thailand's top three skincare and cosmetics brands from Korea within two years," he said.

Thana, director of TFS (Thailand), revealed that the company planned to adjust its pricing policy to be in line with similar products in Korea.

"So far, most of our customers are university students and young working adults, but with the new pricing, we anticipate to attract even younger consumers. To attract these young people, we have also selected [television actor] Kim Soo-hyun, one of Korea's rising young heartthrobs, to be our new brand presenter.

"Moreover, we plan a major renovation of our stores to make them look more modern and welcoming. The first newly renovated The Face Shop store will be opened at Central Salaya Department Store on August 12," he said, adding that the company planned to introduce new collections and innovations on a consistent basis.

Mahithorn, also a TFS director, said the firm's advertising and public relations activities would cover both print and digital media, with an emphasis on online media where it is easier to engage target consumers.

"We will operate with a full-service e-commerce system that allows customers to order products online via our website. Consumers will also be kept up to date with latest news and developments about The Face Shop via Facebook as well as through famous bloggers and influential beauty gurus in social media," he said.

"Currently, the Thai economy is in the process of recovery and many competitive brands seem to have downsized their advertising and marketing activities.

So this presents a good opportunity for The Face Shop to go the opposite way and make attempts to establish our brand as a preferred brand in the minds of our target consumers. During economically challenging times like this, consumers will turn to quality products that are reasonably priced, and that's another very good opportunity for the company."

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