Cosmetics salesmen rising in feminine environment
Something unusual is happening to the feminine environment of
department store cosmetics sales floors, where both customers and
salespeople used to be women.
A few years ago, the number of men
explaining cosmetics to and putting makeup on women have been
increasing, a phenomenon caused by increases in the number of men
interested in makeup and women's desire for advice from the opposite
sex, industry analysts said.
Cosmetics makers hope the trend boosts sales of men's makeup, the analysts said.
Tokunaga, 22, is the sole cosmetics salesman of Shiseido Co. assigned
to the cosmetics sales floor at Takashimaya Co.'s Tamagawa department
store in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo.
Two years ago, when he first appeared
on the sales floor, almost all the female customers were surprised, and
one of them asked, "Are you a repairman?"
But the number of his regular customers has gradually risen. "A man's advice is persuasive," one customer said.
is wonderful to be made up by a young man like my son," said another. A
male customer said with gratitude, "I felt relieved to see you here."
salesmen appeared in Japan in the second half of the 1990s when U.S.
brands used by models and other professionals arrived, and men were
posted on sales floors as makeup artists.
At first, they were
limited to Tokyo, Osaka and other major cities, but with the spread of
the sales networks for such brands, salesmen have spread nationwide.
cosmetics producers began to employ men for the job in around 2000. As
a result, the image that sales floors are occupied solely by women has
gradually changed, and men wishing to put makeup on women have
increased, enabling manufacturers to secure excellent personnel.
began to employ men several years ago, and now, 28 are working on its
cosmetics sales floors. Although that number is small compared with the
total number of its employees, which is about 10,000, a public
relations official said, "We will employ more if (they are) suited to
the job, regardless of sex."
About 30 men are working for a subsidiary of Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. that specializes in selling its brands at department stores.
to a foreign-affiliated cosmetics producer, there are men who quit
their companies to join to become makeup specialists.