Estee Lauder is shutting up shop on its Aramis and Designer Fragrances division that comprises Aramis, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, DKNY, Donna Karen and Ermenegildo Zegna. When their licensing agreements run out, they won’t be renewed. Which is not to say that these fragrances will be unavailable – they’ll be licenced elsewhere. I feel that in what appears to be one giant Lauder cost cutting exercise this makes perfect sense – they have other fragrances that perhaps do better which aren’t part of the ADF division such as Tom Ford, Le Labo and Jo Malone. As the fragrance market has changed so dramatically, the ADF offerings weren’t keeping up with contemporary trends. WWD reports that Tory Burch was let go in 2019, later signed by Shiseido and I don’t think has been heard of since 😊. Estee Lauder has just released their own line of luxury fragrances.
Speaking of fragrances, Britney Spears fragrance has seen a 344% spike in sales since she was ‘freed’. Many Britney fans refused to purchase ‘merch’ or anything Britney related because they felt the proceeds didn’t go to Britney – now that they will, the Electric Fantasy production lines will be going at warp speed to keep up.
In the last BBN I reported that UK based Creightons had purchased Emma Hardie, so it’s something of a surprise that no sooner had the ink dried than they bought Brodie & Stone. Business Weekly reported that business was brisk over the pandemic for the brand who supply hygiene products such as sanitizer and that seems to have opened the door for them to expand their portfolio. You may not know Brodie & Stone but you will know some of their brands – Janina whitening toothpaste, T-Zone skin care and Soho Joe male grooming.
Puig is one to watch at the moment – the recent buyers of Charlotte Tilbury. In January, the business restructured, splitting into three divisions – beauty & fashion, Charlotte Tilbury (which gets a whole division of its own and is about to launch in Korea) and derma (skin). Puig is best known for fragrance so both beauty and fashion are quite a departure although a return to roots – Puig’s first product in 1922 was Milady Lipstick – the first Spanish manufactured lipstick. Last year they invested in both Louboutin (beauty) and Dries Van Noten (fashion) and they’re clearly still in acquisition mode because they’ve invested in Chinese fragrance retailer and distributor, Scent Library. The Chinese fragrance market is not as flourishing yet as you might expect so there is plenty of opportunity for growth because projections for the market are off the scale. Givaudan (creators of so many famous fragrances such as Gucci Guilty, Angel and Armani Code) has recently opened production plants in Shanghai and Guangzhou. Givaudan bought Myrissi earlier this year – it’s AI that translates scents into colours and patterns. It’s fine if your mind feels blown.
Look out for forthcoming e-tail beauty site, The Unexpekted Store (yes, with a ‘k’) from Brand Architekts (yes…), a UK beauty branding building company. You’ll know many of their brands – Super Facialist, Dirty Works and Kind Natured amongst them. To stand out from this crowded place, they’ll focus on indie and affordable brands which I think sounds promising. They’ve started with their own brands HERE, obviously, but my interest is in the indies – there are very many new beauty brands with nowhere to go and it’s hard for them to get traction on their own sites so this could be the perfekt (sorry) solution.
L’Occitane is launching a ‘social selling’ platform, MyL’occitane, which sounds very much like a multi-level marketing company. In 2017 L’Occitane acquired 40% of LimeLight by Alcone (renamed Limelife), raised its stake in 2018 and now here we are with L’Occitane opening out MyL’Occitane in the US presumably based on the knowledge grab from heavy investment in an MLM. It’s an opportunity perhaps to recalibrate the MLM model into something that feels less exploitative.
Strivectin is to be acquired by Crown Laboratories (Vita Liberata, Blue Lizard Sunscreen} to add to their premium portfolio. Strivectin was bought by private equity firm L Catterton in 2009. They have a wide portfolio with everything from pet supplies to CoverFX to GANNI fashion. It looks as though they may be targeting travel and leisure for future investments so perhaps Bliss and CoverFX will be next.
Sources: Jingdaily, GlobalCosmeticsNews, WWD.
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Makes sense that EL is shutting down licensed perfumes. Can’t recall last time someone wanted to buy Michael Kors or DKNY scents. Whereas I live near a Le Labo boutique and I see people buying that all the time…and a Jo Malone boutique just opened at my closest mall.
I am very much against the idea of MLMs (they are pyramid schemes!) and I can’t believe this is the path L’Occitane is going down. Well I can only hope they can do it better given the products are so nice and would actually sell but we shall see. Not sure if it is available in UK but there is a documentary on Amazon Prime in US/Canada about the terrible practices at a MLM.
I think I’ve seen a couple of MLM documentaries – there is definitely room for improvement …. but they can only exist if people buy from them which they certainly must be doing.
Most consumers have no idea the sketchy business practices and, frankly, cult like behavior in MLMs. I go out of my way to avoid them, and that’s been at some personal cost because some people will drop you socially if you don’t attend their “parties.” People absolutely bankrupted by the requirement that “independent sellers” purchase outright all the stock they will need – only they don’t get to choose what they purchase and they can end up with unsellable dreck. The companies don’t care, they’ve “made their sales,” but the objects don’t actually get sold.
And Estee has their own line of luxury fragrances? There’s so much in the marketplace right now, I can’t even keep track.
Yes, it’s very difficult territory. I don’t intentionally feature MLMs and have no intention of featuring this arm of L’Occitane so it’s awkward when brands you love head in this direction. Time will tell I suppose whether it’s a good move or not – it’s the same with The Body Shop At Home … it’s not something that has a place here and to be fair, it’s never, ever asked of me.
I agree totally. That documentary was an eye-opener. I’m really shocked at L’Occitane going down this route as they’ve previous had quite a strong ethical thrust in their marketing. What good is 25p from a lip balm going to a charity to support women when hundreds or thousands of women are putting themselves in a debt position to sell it to friends as part of a pyramid scheme, sorry Multi Level Marketing business.
Apart from the membership fees and set up costs that flow upwards to the top of the pyramid, MLMs sound like a great way for companies to mitigate the risk of carrying lots of stock. As soon as they produce stock, it’s bought by ‘distributors’ who then bear all the risk and are undoubtedly more vulnerable to that risk, while the producer is sitting pretty with cash in their coffers and a ready made (and sadly very malleable) supply chain.
Something that’s not clear to me simply because I just don’t know is what the MLM landscape looks like in the US. I wonder if attitudes are different.
Bewildering isn’t it? It’s so hard to know where to put your money and your faith these days! Or is it just me?
It’s not just you 🙂
EL seem to be having a major clean out with staff. My Frasers has a Frederic Malle counter next to Kilian. EL got rid of the two Kilian staff then two staff members at Frederic Malle one was moved to the Aveda counter to cover long-term leave, and she does not think the original staff member will return. The remaining staff member for FM and Kilian had their hours cut from 3 days a week to 8 hours a week to cover both counters! They left, of course.
Emma Hardie, I received an email they are now doing bath/shower products, body creams and hand lotions. I thought it strange.
They are – also at head office … re EH, I am just about to write up my review of the bath and body range. So far, I like it!