Reaching for global in the Japanese cosmetics industry, 1951 to 2015: the case of Shiseido

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Umemura, Maki ; Slater, Stephanie (2017)

This article examines the various factors that have shaped the internationalisation of the Japanese cosmetics industry over six decades of economic transformation from 1951 to 2015. Whilst Japanese cosmetics companies have expanded overseas, their focus has largely been in Asia. This article advances a multifactorial explanation that analyses a number of factors that led to regionalisation, including foreign consumers’ perception of Japan, managerial perceptions and strategies toward export markets, as well as the challenges pertaining to cross-border mergers and acquisitions activities by Japanese firms. Using Shiseido as the case example, the article offers a highly-textured account rooted in an understanding of the evolving historical setting, cautions against simple explanations and extends previous discussions concerning the reasons behind the regional orientation of the Japanese cosmetics industry.
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