Cocokara Fine opens China chain and outlines expansion


Japanese drugstore operator to roll out new chain in China selling Japanese high-quality personal care products

Japanese drugstore operator Cocokara Fine is rolling out a new chain in China catering to customers who seek Japanese high-quality personal care products. Plans call for launching 20 stores within three years in northeastern China, raising the number to 50 in five years.

Cocokara Fine has formed a joint venture with local drug distributor CDFY Pharmacy Chain Investment, the Japanese trading house Itochu and Alfresa Holdings, a Japanese drug wholesaler. The first store was recently opened at the entrance of a shopping mall in front of a major railway station in Dalian. Japanese products make up 80% of the merchandise, including shampoos, hairstyling products, cosmetics, health foods and nappies.

The company said it aims to establish the chain in the city as quickly as possible, and is in talks with 16 local shopping malls about opening locations. From Dalian, it plans to open stores elsewhere in Liaoning Province, where the local partner has its base, as well as in the neighbouring northeastern provinces. According to the company, Cocokara should win business by being able to demonstrate its Japanese credentials through genuine Japanese merchandise.

David Kilburn, Tokyo

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