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Cha Ling, Owned By LVMH, Suspends Its Single-brand Retail Operations In China

Cha Ling Suspends Its Single-brand Retail Operations

Cha Ling Suspends Brand Retail Operations News

Cha Ling Suspends Its Single-brand Retail Operations, LVMH Moet Hennessy’s owned Cha Ling is the latest skincare brand to cease its brick-and-mortar operations in China due to COVID-19-related disruptions.

Established in 2016, Cha Ling is a luxury skincare brand based on Pu’er tea sourced from the Chinese Yunnan Province and developed into formulations in France. After its debut in the store at Le Bon Marche in 2016, Cha Ling expanded to Hong Kong and mainland China in 2017. The following year, Cha Ling opened three independent stores within Chinese shopping malls, such as Shanghai HKRI Taikoo HuiShanghai IFC, and Hangzhou’s MixC Mall.

According to Dianping Chinese equivalent of Yelp, Cha Ling’s Pudong and Hangzhou stores have been shut down in the past few years. The company announced closing the HKRI Taikoo Hui store this June as the city emerged from a lockdown that lasted two months. The store closure was aimed at “optimizing the retail strategy of the brand,” according to Cha Ling’s official Wechat account. After the closing of independent stores in operation, Cha Ling closed its Wechat Mini Program store, but the company still has an officially-licensed Tmall store.

Cha Ling products can also be found in over 331 Sephora stores across 87 Chinese cities. According to the LVMH-owned beauty store, sales in Sephora retail outlets topped 100 million renminbi or $14 million in the three months ending in July. Under the brand name Sephora, Cha Ling launched the Beau-Tea Class, a skin health workshop based on traditional acupressure massages and detox routines. Cha Ling products are also used in spas in five-star hotels such as Shanghai’s Peninsula Hotel, The Middle House Shanghai, and Beijing’s Puxuan Hotel & Spa. Cha Ling was founded by Laurent Boillot, Guerlain’s chief executive officer. He is currently the director of the chief executive officer at Maison Hennessy. On a visit on a trip to Yunnan, Boillot met German ecologist Josef Margraf, who, together with his wife, the ex-journalist Minguo Li, was working to improve the local ecosystem of biodiversity.

After Margraf’s death in 2010, Boillot decided to incubate Cha Ling, the Cha Ling brand, which will continue Margraf’s work of revitalizing the ecosystem of Yunnan. A portion of the revenue from Cha Ling will go towards the Tea Garden project, which will continue to aid in the reforestation process and plant tea tree in Pu’er, a region in Yunnan.

Cha Ling was showcased this month at the Sephora booth at the five-year CIIE fair. “We are determined to continue to engage with Chinese customers and create new and innovative products that cater to local requirements and offer Chinese customers luxurious experiences in skin care as well as truly unforgettable service,” Angela Shum, brand manager for Cha Ling Greater China, stated at the fair.

Cha Ling isn’t the first brand to focus on mixing traditional Asian ingredients with Western skincare formulations.

The brand was launched in 2012 when Estee Lauder introduced Osiao, a premium skincare brand designed specifically for consumers in the Chinese market. In the year 2019, Procter & Gamble set up to revive Oriental Therapy, a premium Chinese herbal skincare brand that was introduced in 2013. In November, L’Oreal introduced a brand of K-beauty named Shihyo. The premium skincare brand is infused with 24 herbal ingredients and mixes fermented rice water with ginseng-infused water.

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