LG Household & Health Care’s cosmetics brand Whoo is expected to top three trillion won in sales this year. At present, Whoo is the only South Korean cosmetics brand that has topped two trillion won in annual sales. Also, only a very small number of foreign cosmetics brands, including Lancôme and Estée Lauder, have reached that level so far.
The annual sales of Whoo totaled 2.6 trillion won in 2019 after breaking the one trillion won mark in 2016 and the two trillion won mark in 2018. The brand is continuing to grow at an annual rate of over 30 percent. For reference, Lancôme’s sales added up to four trillion won or so in 2018, when those of Shiseido and Yves Saint Laurent were less than two trillion won. Last year, Whoo and Estée Lauder were close to each other in terms of annual sales.
These days, Chinese cosmetics companies are increasing their share with inexpensive products in the Chinese cosmetics market and this is adversely affecting their South Korean counterparts, which compete with them with mass-market products in most cases. However, LG Household & Health Care’s cosmetics business is revolving around premium brands such as Whoo, O HUI and su:m, which account for more than 70 percent of its cosmetics sales.