Although the cosmetics market in Japan has only grown at an annual rate of 1%, we realized double-digit growth of 11% year on year in sales at stores, allowing us to greatly expand our share in this market. In addition to the continued sales growth of core brands, for which we have been stepping up marketing investment, we were able to firmly capture inbound demand by strengthening our cross-border marketing, which focuses on Japan, China, and Travel Retail as a single market. This in turn contributed to our strong business performance.
Also, in terms of the skin trinity category (skincare, base makeup, and sunscreen), an area in which the Company excels, brands for which marketing investment has been realized robust growth. These included SHISEIDO, which saw a renewal of its core product, the serum Ultimune, and ELIXIR, which saw a favorable performance from lotions and moisturizers.
The Japanese market is expected to see a gradual expansion, centered on mid-to-high-priced markets, due to such factors as the increase in overseas visitors to Japan and the establishment of new fields, such as wrinkle improvement.
To solidify the No. 1 position in the Japanese market, we will continue to step up marketing investment in core brands such as SHISEIDO and ELIXIR as well as in the skin trinity category (skincare, base makeup, and sun care). Furthermore, we will aim to create new markets by developing and introducing innovative products.
Additionally, across all channels, we will make efforts to expand and strengthen contact points in line with consumer behavioral patterns and purchasing styles. We will also focus our efforts on attracting the young and the second baby-boomer generation, who will lead new markets in the future. In particular, we will further enhance marketing investment in digital marketing.
Inbound consumption is on a trend of continued expansion following the growth in the number of tourists visiting Japan. Accordingly, we will take steps to further reinforce cross-border marketing, which views all regions in Asia collectively as one market. In addition, we will continue to strengthen our support for tourists at stores in Japan through such means as introducing interpreters and leveraging digital tools that facilitate counseling in multiple languages.