Paris Welcomes La Maison Natura
PARIS — Natura is blooming in Paris.

The Brazilian beauty brand opened its first boutique here in April. The store, located on the city’s Left Bank, serves as a test for Natura, which is sold door-to-door in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru.

The boutique, dubbed La Maison Natura, is a veritable dream come true for founder and president Luiz Seabra.

“It is through our dreams that we establish visions in our life,” he told French journalists during a presentation in Paris earlier this year.

 As reported, the firm raised 768.2 million reais, or $304.4 million at current exchange, last year when it went public. Natura generated sales of 2.54 billion  reais, or $1 billion, in 2004.

The boutique is a departure from Natura’s traditional door-to-door sales strategy, which relies on 400,000 consultants to push its numerous brands, including Ekos, Chronos, Mamae e Bebe and Unica.

“The store explains physically what we want to be,” said Joel Ponte, managing director of Natura Europe. He added that France, often regarded as one of the world’s most competitive beauty markets, is a prime launching pad.

“We will have a strong impact if we manage to pass on our message in France,” he said.

Sources estimate the store could generate 700,000 euros to 1 million euros, or $903,000 to $1.3 million, at retail in its first year.

In addition to the brick-and-mortar presence in France, Natura also has an e-tail site. To spread the word about the brand, Natura is recruiting “ambassadors” — people attracted to the brand by word of mouth who will, in turn, be taught about the Natura concept and tell their friends and family about it. The ambassadors will also learn about the Ekos brand, the first of Natura’s product lines to be introduced in France. The 72-unit collection comprises bath, body, hair and fragrance items based on ingredients culled from Brazil’s natural resources in a sustainable and ethical way, according to Natura. Prices range from 7 euros, or $9, for a 300-ml. bottle of shower gel, to 9 euros, or $12, for a 15-ml. lip balm, to 28 euros, or $36, for a 400-ml. fragranced splash.

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