Most consumers won't really know or care about the behind-the-scenes machinations of how they get their Korean beauty items but it's become quite a brutal, competitive scene.
I used to say half jokingly that it's like a drug war with different cartels ("K-Beauty cartels") fighting for brands and territory in order to claim their space. The scene has changed over the years as the space has matured and grown. Even as someone who works in the industry, I still get confused about who sells what and who has the right to distribute which brand and how brands end up in channels like Costco. Here's my attempt synthesize:Read more