We all know the pandemic threw up many problems for retailers (and still does) but it seems that Hourglass reneged on an exclusivity agreement with Australian retailer Mecca. The courts agreed with Mecca and damages are apparently being discussed. Mecca was unable to distribute cosmetics for a period of time in accordance with government guidelines which Hourglass felt negated the contract which the courts did not have a moment’s time for.

It looks like Boots, which is part of the Boots Walgreen Alliance, may be gearing up for sale – it’s reported that Goldman Sachs has been brought on board for advice. Boots has a problem with its e-commerce arm in that it lacks the sophistication and agility of competitors and I feel that will be a focal point of discussions. Current rumours (read this morning) are that Sainsburys and Tesco are taking a look at it.

P&G have snapped up Ouai Haircare (say it ‘way’) for an undisclosed amount but it will be fair to say millions and millions 😊. Launched in 2016 by celebrity hair stylist, Jen Atkin (absolutely lovely, by the way), the brand has grown extensively in a short period of time but in anyone’s estimation, that is a well spent 5 years.

While we are on the subject of P&G, I picked up a little story about a patent filing for a device that monitors speed, time and force of hair brushing which analyses the data to feed back for optimum care. I feel like I don’t have space or time in my life for that level of hair interest and neither do I have it for the next predicted skin care trend – armpits.

The news that the business pages are excited about is that Nestle is reducing its stake in L’Oreal. I am sure I knew Nestle had a stake in L’Oreal but am surprised anyway because I never think of it. Nestle is taking its stake down to 20.1% from 23.3% in a $10 billion move. What’s interesting is why Nestle took a stake in L’Oreal in the first place – in 1974 the move was made to protect L’Oreal from possible French nationalisation. Who knew?!

Nobody can have missed #chaneladventgate – the brand’s advent calendar offering didn’t meet consumer expectations and they took to on-line channels to say so. I’m slightly on the fence on this because on the one hand, everything at Chanel is beyond expensive – literally, everything and I can never see a time when that won’t be the case – and it’s for a particular market. Value for money is relative in that environment (citing Dior selling a jigsaw puzzle for £180 as an example or Hermes £60 nail polish) but on the other side, it should have been hands down the very best advent ever. It needed to exceed expectations. Maybe the error is trying to have the best of both worlds – social media coverage and positive coverage because the two very often are miles apart. Chanel is said to have deleted its TikTok account and on that note, Lush has pledged to stop posting on its social media accounts. The devil is in the detail because as far as I can tell, they haven’t pledged to delete their accounts which would mean entirely rebuilding as and when they deem it time.

L’Oreal is to buy indie brand Youth To The People – think vegan, superfood extracts and more of exactly the same as we’ve been seeing for what feels like ever. The brand had solid investors from the beginning in the form of Sandbridge Capital (Karl Lagerfeld, Ilia, The Real Real), Strand Equity (Zoeva and Wander Beauty) and Carisa Janes, Hourglass founder who sold the brand to Unilever. It was built for sale from the very beginning, I feel.


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