Karmarts finds a beautiful formula for success
Karmarts Plc (KAMART) was first incorporated as Distar Electric in 1982 and listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 1994. It changed its business focus to cosmetics in 2009 and changed its name to Karmarts Plc in 2011. Wongwiwat Theekhakhirikul, director and assistant managing director for business development, discusses the company’s strategy and outlook.
Please explain the history of Karmarts.
Karmarts originally started as an electrical appliance business with the Distar brand in 1982 and shifted to the business of NGV for automobiles in 2006 before we began to focus purely on consumer products in 2009 as a distributor of beauty and cosmetic products. In 2010 and 2011 we focused on marketing these products through traditional trade channels before expanding into franchising to create the Karmart brand. This has proved successful and we have continued to grow, expanding via modern trade and exporting to Asian countries, and in 2015 we incorporated a joint venture in Vietnam.
What is Karmarts’ business model?
Today we have more than 1,000 beauty products under our six house brands: Cathy Doll, Cathy Choo, Baby Bright, Jejuvita, Reunrom and Crayon. We also manage the distribution of other brands such as Missha. Our core distribution channels are our franchised Karmart shops, traditional trade to both retailers and wholesalers, modern trade, exports through joint ventures in China, Malaysia and Vietnam, and our online store.
We have 54 shops and by 2017 we aim to remodel all of our franchised locations to ensure that every shop has the same standard to further build the reputation and awareness of the brand.
Who are Karmarts’ target customers?
Typically, our customers are teenagers because of the product type, design and price point. Recently, we have been adding new products to cater to a more mature audience and with this strategy we aim for our brand to achieve the same levels of awareness as international brands in consumers’ minds. This will also expand our existing customer base.