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K-Beauty Company Opens World’s 1st Multi-Brand Store ‘The history of Whoo’ at CF Richmond Centre Near Vancouver [Photos]

South Korea-based LG Household & Health Care chose Canada to open the company’s first multi-brand retail store under ‘The history of Whoo’ banner. The retail space at CF Richmond Centre near Vancouver is part of a growth plan that will see LG’s beauty brands expand further into the Canadian market.

The history of Whoo’s retail space at CF Richmond Centre spans 475 square feet. Included are Gani marble floors, mirrored ceilings, gold-plated fixtures, and one of a kind custom chandelier — LG says that it wanted a space with the same level of luxury as the brands contained within. The store acts as a way to share the story of the brands carried within The History of Whoo, including The history of Whoo, Su:m37 and O HUI. Three LED screens in the space, one for each brand, showcase an ongoing series of branded videos.

The company says that it created the store to showcase LG’s luxury beauty brands all in one place, marking the first ever multi-branded luxury K-beauty store in Canada. The store acts as a brand activation and education centre for the brands and is part of a bigger direct-to-consumer push in the beauty segment.

The history of Whoo launched in 2003. LG says that the brand “harmoniously balances modern day technology with Ancient Eastern medicinal principals to deliver the most prestigious traditions to the Empresses of today”. The Chinese character “后” (Whoo) translates into Empress.

“For the first time, a brand has uncovered the beauty secrets of the Royal Court, incorporating their rare and delicate nutritious ingredients from Gongjindan – a traditional herbal recipe. Each ingredient originating from the finest sources around the world, carefully blended and perfectly balanced to achieve harmonious, healthy, and youthful-looking skin”.

The history of Whoo Store Offers a Personalized Service & One-on-One Consultations

The store offers in-store personalized service that includes one-on-one consultations. Precautions are being taken due to the current pandemic.

The history of Whoo’s flagship product, Bichup Self-Generating Anti-Aging Essence, is described as being an all-in-one secret recipe that increases skin moisturization while improving the appearance of wrinkles for smoother and more radiant skin. According to a Kantar Worldpanel Beauty Evaluation, the product has been the best-selling anti-aging essence in South Korea for nine consecutive years. Each year, the serum is released with intricately designed limited-edition packaging inspired by the Royal cultural heritage.

The Su:m37 brand is described as a traditional Korean luxury brand that utilizes cutting edge fermentation technology to achieve highly functional skincare products. Its best-selling “Secret Essence” was created using Cyto-FermTM technology utilizing a three-stage fermentation process to create a natural and fermented water achieved by aging and fermenting a variety of 80 plants for an entire year. The antioxidant rich Secret Essence is said to improve skin elasticity and barrier function to enhance the skin’s own natural strength and resistance.

The O HUI brand is described as a luxury cosmetic brand based on the concept of skin science to harmonize the skin and address its condition through the use of cutting-edge biotechnology and natural botanicals. Its Prime Advancer Ampoule Serum contains the brand’s proprietary Skin Core Enhancing technology that is intended to help protect the skin’s barrier and improve its resilience to environmental stressors such as pollution and seasonal changes.

LG Household & Health Care says that it chose CF Richmond Centre based on its demographics as well as the exceptional nature of the shopping centre itself. The Vancouver market was shown to already have awareness for LG’s brands and the storefront provides a home base as opposed to ordering products from overseas.

While the CF Richmond Centre is the first in the world for The history of Whoo, LG Household & Health Care operates shop-in-stores for each of its brands in upscale department stores throughout Asia.

Map of the CF Richmond Centre showing the location of new The history of Whoo store.
Map of the CF Richmond Centre showing the location of new The history of Whoo store.

It appears that The history of Whoo could see more store locations in Canada. “Our Richmond store is a stepping-stone to a national expansion, including making these products available at our own brick and mortars and high-end department stores all across Canada in the future,” said the company in a written statement to Retail Insider.

As part of the Canadian expansion, The history of Whoo recently launched a branded, non-transactional website at www.thehistoryofwhoo.ca which provides key information about LG’s signature brand line, Whoo. The site also provides store information and is a way for customers to sign up to receive a monthly newsletter, or to reach out to the store directly.

LG Household & Health Care also owns The Face Shop which recently rebranded Canadian stores as ‘Nature Collection’. Avon Canada Inc. is also a wholly owned subsidiary of LG Household & Health Care Ltd. which has its Canadian headquarters within Avon Canada’s corporate office in suburban Montreal. We reported last month that Avon had opened its first storefront in the same building, with plans to open Avon showrooms in Toronto and Vancouver.

LG Household & Health Care is the leading consumer goods company in Korea in segments including cosmetics, personal care, home care and beverages. The company is listed on the Korea Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of about $27 billion CAD and full-year revenue of approximately $8.9 billion CAD in 2019.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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