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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I love BBB BB news, always a very interesting read, fascinating.
Boots having been a stalwart of the high street does need to up its online game, completely agree. One store I was in recently (Brighton) has had the revamp in the beauty hall it needs and it’s great. Maybe it felt a bit overwhelming at first with the new goodies but there were still the quiet corners for instore consultations and I loved it. Since Debenhams closed that store has stepped up. Online needs to be better branded, there is way too much scrolling required.
Robo hairbrush sounds like something out of a 60s sci fi series, that really made me chuckle.
I did get the Chanel Advent-sary calendar and do regret it. However I will keep it for now, if nothing else for the size of it! Where was that exclusive palette, compact or super special bottle to really make it the calendar it could have been etc etc..
As ever a great article Jane, thank you. Have a good Friday and weekend xxx
I think the Calendar is a beautiful thing to have – it’s an ornament on its own really – but you’re right, it needed some exclusive and special items to bring it up to speed. Good weekend to you too xx
Oh no. I’m a hair person more than makeup or skincare, and I am definitely the market for that ridiculous brush even though I know it’s totally unnecessary. I have years of data on growth and analyse ingredients for fun. It’s one of my main special interests (I’m autistic so that’s deeeep interest). I expect that it’s not going to be up to my standards as a brush though; Mason Pearson and Tek have their cult followings for a reason.
I wish Boots had been able to keep up with the times on their website because it’s really eclipsed by rivals in both beauty and healthcare.
Oh wow! That’s so interesting Sarah – I’m completely not a hair person so it’s not ringing my bells but glad you like the sound of it!
Reminds me of the Kerastase smart brush, launched back in 2017.
Yes, sounds very similar – just a bit more whizzy 🙂
Here’s my thing about the Chanel advent calendar tiktok controversy. Chanel provided customers the list of items that will be in the advent calendar, in advance, before it was even released. Plenty of blogs and instagrammers listed the items that would be included. It boggles my mind that people pretended to be shocked by what they opened it up. My guess is that the reactions were just for tiktok views.
TBH, from what I have seen on youtube of the calendar itself, these same people would have paid $200+ just for the packaging. It is quite nice! (I recently learned there people buy on ebay hermes and chanel packaging that comes with purchases. Like the bag and ribbons and boxes. So odd.)
On a positive note, I love Ouai products for how well they work and feel and especially the scents (so good). Hope it will stay as good as it is with P&G.
Yes, there’s a lot about the TikTok debacle that feels artificially constructed but I would have liked to see some more special items such as a calendar exclusive palette or lipstick. Jen Atkin is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
I haven’t visited a department store or shopping centre since the start of the pandemic. During peak pandemic I got my beauty fix from the small Boots branches. No 7 Damson Mist blusher has seen me through the last 12 months. So I have become very fond of these small branches and don’t want them subsumed into a Sainsburys or Tesco. Boots could make more of the smaller branches by improving stock levels and widening the product range. The first edition of Boots website was a clunker and they never caught up after that start.
Completely missed Chaneladventgate which is why I read Beauty Business News.
If you want a good read for Christmas or an beautifully narrated audio book to listen to The Bettencourt Affair is fascinating. It tells the history of L’Oreal and how the daughter of the founder became involved in a political scandal.
The Bettencourt story is so complicated! I’ve often wanted to embark on it but haven’t really felt that I had the time to concentrate as fully as I suspect it needs!