For the first time, the Perfume Expo America held its three-day trade show, which started on Monday, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York.
With 76 exhibitors and over 600 attendees, the show was designed to showcase both classic and emerging niche perfume brands, in addition to select skin care and cosmetics lines. Companies represented at the show included Caron, Annick Goutal, Kenzo and Cofinluxe.
Bernard Pommier, director of PXA, said he hopes that his show will be the first steps toward fighting the gray market by providing an opportunity for marketers to deal directly with independent retailers
"Perfumery is an art, not a commodity, and it should be traded as a luxury item," said Pommier. "The gray market is killing the industry right now — we can't stop it but with shows like these, our hopes are to make it better for both the marketers and retailers. We can do this by managing and better controlling distribution."
As part of this initiative, Pommier also hopes to rebuild niche perfumery by supporting emerging brands who are hoping to break into the U.S. such as the Paris-based Histoires de Parums and Jovoy.
For next year's show, Pommier hopes to double the number of exhibitors. He also is considering to do a show in Miami that will focus more on markets such as Latin America and the Caribbean.
Companies like Cofinluxe and Kenzo attended the show with hopes of attracting new distribution.
"We're looking to rebuild our distribution in the U.S. and feel that this is a great venue for us since the secondary market really affected us," said Philippe Dumas, export director at Cofinluxe, which holds the licenses for Salvador Dali, Morgan and Philippe Charriol. "We see this as a unique opportunity for manufacturers to meet with retailers," said Dumas.
For the Parfums Salvador Dali division, the company is targeting high-end specialty doors, in addition to independent perfumeries. Starting in July, the company is relaunching the brand in the U.S., in conjunction with the Dali exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.
Kenzo Parfums, which currently distributes through Nordstrom and Sephora, attended the show with the hopes of attracting more independent accounts. Over the next three years, the company hopes to be in over 25 independent doors. "This is a good opportunity for us to get our name out there as we're trying to open doors in new perfumery mom-and-pop shops," said Alejandro Rasic, sales and marketing director at Kenzo. "The show has helped us better understand the consumer needs and demands of the market."
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