Could J-beauty be the next big thing?

Mark your calendar for Nov 2, because that’s the date Bangkok gets its very own branch of Shinjuku-born beauty megachain, @cosme store, filling the J-Beauty shaped hole that’s been in our local retail scene for way too long.

Behind the opening lies the newly-formed Istyle Retail Thailand Co Ltd, a joint venture between Tokyo-listed cosmetics company, Istyle Inc, and the Siam Piwat Group (operators of many a luxury Bangkok mall, from Siam Paragon to Siam Discovery).

According to the Bangkok Post, the partnership was formed with a registered capital of 100 million baht, with Istyle Inc holding a majority share of 70 percent, and Siam Piwat Retail Holding Co, a subsidiary of Siam Piwat Group, holding the remaining 30 percent.

The first @cosme store in Thailand will take up a 300-sq-meter residence in IconSiam, the soon-to-open 50-billion-baht luxury riverside shopping complex by Siam Piwat Group. The store is set to house up to 6,000 imported beauty products from 600 Japanese brands. Initially, 80 percent of their products will be Japanese, with a view to increasing its range of non-Japanese products and launching an online-shopping platform in future.

The company plans to open five @cosme stores in Thailand over the next three years, with the second one set to be located at Siam Center.

After launching its own e-commerce website, @cosme opened its first store in Shinjuku in 2007, with products selected based on their extensive website ratings and reviews. With 25 stores now open in Japan, alongside four overseas stores in Taiwan and one in Hong Kong, the brand's loyal customer base is now set to expand to Southeast Asia.