Clarins Goes Private

With the announcement of going private and a management shift, Groupe Clarins has positioned itself for overall growth.

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Year In Fashion issue 12/15/2008

With the announcement of going private and a management shift, Groupe Clarins has positioned itself for overall growth by focusing on building core brands and further developing its business in the U.S. and Japan.

This story first appeared in the December 15, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In July, the company announced that it would be a privately held company by taking the company off the Paris Bourse.

Although Clarins has looked into possible acquisitions, executives have instead taken their focus internally by focusing on core brands such as Clarins, Thierry Mugler, Azzaro and David Yurman. The company has also invested in everything including innovative products, research, distribution, marketing, sampling, training and advertising. This move also allows the company to look into a more mid- and long-term growth strategy that doesn’t require Clarins to act on a short-term basis to please the market.

“We have decided to concentrate on what we know best — that’s to say, the activities of Clarins,” said Christian Courtin-Clarins, president and chief executive officer of Groupe Clarins. In an earlier WWD interview, Courtin-Clarins said his goal is to make Groupe Clarins “the leading skin care company in the world” and raise its share in markets like the U.S., which lags behind in comparison to others and ranks fourth with a share of 5 percent, in comparison to the European market where it has a 16 percent share. With plans to grow the business to a 16 percent share in the U.S., Courtin-Clarins is looking at a 4 to 6 percent sales target for the entire company. He noted that skin care has experienced double-digit growth, while the fragrance is growing at a slower rate since there “are still many fragrances coming.”

“I think that we will be more at the end of the year at 4 [percent] than 6 because of the external conditions,” said Courtin-Clarins in an interview earlier this fall

For 2007, Clarins experienced sales of 1.01 billion euros, or $1.38 billion at average exchange, a 4.2 percent rise.

The company has also made management changes with Philip Shearer promoted from Clarins’ executive vice president to the new president of the company’s executive board, making him the chief executive officer, back in March. Shearer succeeded Courtin-Clarins, who was appointed chairman and president of Clarins’ supervisory board, replacing Serge Rosinoer, who remained as a board member.