French beauty group L’Occitane en Provence, which was listed on Hong Kong’s stock exchange in May, is now expanding on multiple fronts, including the U.S. and Italy.
The firm, which registered a 13.9 percent uptick in sales for the fiscal year ended March 31, generating revenues estimated at about $885.5 million, envisions eventually upping its number of stores in the U.S. to 300. Furthermore, it is rolling out a new store concept in the States.
In Italy, the brand is aiming to tap into the burgeoning Italian natural cosmetics market, which grew 5.8 percent in the first quarter and 5.5 percent in the second, by bolstering its retail presence there.
With more than 1,500 boutiques in 70 countries — the average size is 750 to 800 square feet — the company is also renovating stores, as well as scouting locations to open in growth markets China, Brazil, Russia, India and Mexico and places where L’Occitane still has room to grow, such as in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Korea, according to the company.
In the U.S., “A lot of the stores hadn’t been touched in a long time,” said Leela Petrakis, U.S. managing director, overseeing the 170 American boutiques, where 40 thus far have been recast with bright Provençal greenhouse touches of glass, weathered fixtures, mosaics and Moroccan tile, as well as warm yellow paint on stucco, instead of the earlier, more golden French country house decor.
It’s all part of L’Occitane’s renewed focus on its home manufacturing base and what inspired founder Olivier Baussan in 1976 to create soaps, moisturizers and beauty treatments using natural ingredients and local plants such as lavender, olive oil, rosemary and almonds native to the region’s Mediterranean landscape.
David Melki, managing director of L’Occitane Italy said, “For many reasons Italy was overlooked, but we have witnessed how consumers are excited by the brand from our results.”
In Italy, the plan is to open 30 freestanding stores in two years. To date, L’Occitane has opened 14 boutiques and is slated to mint a further two, in Rome Termini and Napoli station, in December. Melki noted the brand’s Rome store situated on the city’s tony Via Frattina is already one of the brand’s top-performing stores in Europe.
While retail currently accounts for 85 to 90 percent of L’Occitane’s global business, Melki said the firm is looking to cautiously grow its wholesale stake in Italy. He said he believes 45 to 50 stores and distribution in upward of 800 doors like department stores, herbal shops and pharmacies would ideally encompass the Italian market.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty