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.
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