Remember last time I did a BBN I mentioned that the lease on the flagship Chanel store in Bond Street was up for sale and the only way for Chanel to secure their continued presence was to buy it? Well, they did. For £320 million. Apart from it being a very Chanel thing to do, it signals a vote of confidence in the return of luxury retail and that’s significant for central London at least because currently, it is decimated.
In another telling move, L’Oreal Luxe (who have stand alone stores in the US) are closing their retail locations in favour of investing more in e-commerce. Despite their e-commerce arm rising significantly, sales wise, during lock-down it didn’t offset the drop from bricks and mortar. Estee Lauder free standing stores are scheduled for some closures too.
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The Hut Group has been on the brand purchasing prowl again, this time snapping up Perricone MD in a surprise move. They paid – in cash – $60 million. THG currently owns Mio, Ameliorate, Espa, Illamasqua, Eyeko, Look Fantastic and Glossy Box, amongst others.
Coty has a class action! There is always something going on with this brand. This time, it’s the shareholders who have revolted – they claim that Coty misled them and didn’t disclose facts about their operations that could be perceived as negative. Notable Coty mis-steps could include overpaying for Kylie Cosmetics and not knowing what to do with the entire P&G beauty portfolio once they got hold of it. Oh, and they let Bourjois sink into an abyss.
If you noticed a sudden influx of Friends branding recently (previous licence deals must have come to an end allowing for new ones – notably, MAD Beauty and Make Up Revolution), get ready for Killing Eve beauty products in a similar vein. Licence deals are being arranged as we speak.
I reported a couple of BBNs ago that Next were taking space left by departed Debenhams stores to open up a beauty retail space. The first two are alive and kicking in Milton Keynes and Watford with another scheduled for the Metrocentre.
Boots is in the hot-seat for withholding rent and service charges, according to reports. As part of Covid economy measures, the UK government did not allow property owners to evict non-paying tenants. So, despite their stores all staying open as part of essential services, Boots has apparently used this loophole to withhold rent and service charges as part of ‘re-negotiation’. Boots has seen a big drop in sales – but so has everyone else and yet there is talk of 4000 redundancies in the offing.
A sector that is doing remarkably well at the moment is fragrance. It’s moving the fastest in terms of upswing within the beauty market having suffered a lockdown dip. It’s thought that deals on unsold coffrets and gift sets (up 32%) have helped to push things along and reawaken interest. Diptyque is opening two new New York stores and Byredo is teaming with Ikea to create scented candles (available from November). Make up is still struggling.
The best news of all this week is that Marian Newman – a powerhouse of the nail industry – is to receive a BEM (British Empire Medal) in the Queen’s Honours List. Marian is an educator, a creative and a collaborator (MAC amongst others) who during lockdown started a Facebook Group for nail professionals to support each other. As well as writing guidelines for returning to work (amongst any number of professional teaching books), she is unswervingly passionate in her support of the nail industry. There is nobody as well respected as Marian – she has manicured literally the world’s most famous (men and) women, is still a backstage creative must-have and knows absolutely everything there is to know about nails. And, she is truly a lovely, kind and generous person. We have had as much fun in the backstage chaos as sneaking a quick lunch time wine at Fenwick.
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