I was chatting with one of the brush manufacturers from Kumano the other day.
He talked about a buyer for a big department store. How she perceives the makeup brush market.
The buyer said to him, ‘ many makeups products come with brushes. And most users in Japan are ok with brushes that come with the makeups. So there are less needs for brushes themselves these days’
I am not fully convinced with her opinion, as Hakuhodo seems to be selling well. Takeda as well.
But, yes brush makers provide more and more brushes to makeup makers – big names.
Here are what happened.
Kihitsu stopped selling at Isetan.
Koyudo is not selling at Tokyu Plaza at Ginza any more.
Shaquda is not selling at Mitsukoshi Ginza any more.
I think it good that brush companies concentrate on what they need to do and stop doing what is not necessary.
That is what I try to do: Treat each client as if she is a friend. In doing so, and having a small operation, I know I cannot expand my business to a mass market.
If I can provide my service to a small market (niche) of each country, it will be good numbers of clients, I hope.
The other trend is that brush companies are moving to synthetic hair gradually.
Goat is still in stock, but kolinsky (powder and cheek) and some squirrel are barely in stock.
I know most of you prefer natural hair, and Kumano brushes are wanted especially for those hairs.
Do you still want Kumano brushes even with synthetic hair?
These two trends seem to be going on now.
Shrinking retail capabilities, and moving to synthetic hair.
Shrinking retails mean more OEM’s ( providing brushes under names of makeup companies, e.g. Chikuhodo does to Kanebo)
Regardless, there are some department brands.
Hakuhodo keeps selling at department stores. Shaquda does as well. But I don’t know who buys most. Maybe foreign people. Not by Japanese.
I buy Hakuhodo which are requested by my clients from overseas. I often see Chinese buyers at Hakuhodo desks.
Maybe more foreigners or foreign buyers buy than Japanese.
If you look at a big picture, there are big markets outside Japan, getting big every year, and the market size in Japan is shrinking. The population of Japanese is decreasing every year.
Is it a good idea to have many shops in Japan like Hakuhodo? And is it good to switch to synthetic hair ?
I personally am looking at the market outside Japan, and I don’t see the market of synthetic hair yet.
I will take a look more close and will write more in the future.
Thank you for reading,