Australian skin-care brand Lano is poised for intensive overseas growth.The brand, which revolves around the moisturizing effects of lanolin (from sheep), has been in the U.S. for about a year and is adding more stockkeeping units to its lineup at Ulta Beauty in March, launching on QVC and talking to retail partners for a large-scale European expansion, according to founder and chief executive officer Kirsten Carriol.“When we launch into a new market, it’s a two-step process. We do the set-up year, which is sort of opening our distribution channels, and then we do the consolidation year, which is really making the business work,” Carriol said. “We launched only a year ago in the U.S.…already, it’s the same size for us as Australia and the U.K., and within 12 months, the U.S. will be our biggest market, easily.” Lano’s entry into the U.S. market is said to have contributed to 50 percent growth in wholesale for the business in the first year, according to industry sources. Expansion with QVC and Ulta could propel another 60 percent growth, industry sources estimated.Both Ulta and QVC are contributing to that growth projection. Carriol will make her first QVC appearance in March, which also kicks off the product expansion in Ulta. There, Lano’s three-sku lineup (101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm, $16.95, Rose Hand Cream Intense, $14.95, and Strawberry Multipurpose Superbalm, $13.50) will expand to 18 sku's, according to Carriol, and move from the impulse section to a shelf space. The product lineup includes several hand creams, lip balms and all-over products, notably Lano’s new Allover Everywhere Multi-Cream, which, as the name suggests, is meant for everywhere.“That is what I use for my face and my children,” Carriol said. “I’m all about one cream to replace five things.” The Multi-Cream will be in 650 Ulta doors, Carriol said.The multiuse product fits well within the brand’s ethos — lanolin-focused products meant to simplify beauty routines and solving problems. Carriol devised the concept in 2003, when she was missing the moisturizing effects of her childhood lanolin during a long flight.“I was like, ‘why hasn’t anything ever worked as well as the lanolin I grew up with?’” she said. The answer was that the ingredient — core to formulations like Helena Rubinstein’s original creams — had faded from favor after getting a reputation as an allergen. For her brand, which launched in 2009, Carriol uses “ultramedical grade lanolin” she said, cleaned so that the “bad stuff” that accumulates between sheep shearings is removed.Next up in Carriol’s offerings is Lano’s Gentle Cleansing Bar, a bar soap that can be used for face and body. It has already launched in Australia and should be in the U.S. within the next six months, she said. She’s also working on Lano Sticks, she said, which are less glossy and more salve-like than Lano’s other lip products. “I finally got the formula right, but then the packaging has to work with it because it’s lanolin — it’s a bit softer than a normal stick — so I have to get the delivery system right,” Carriol said.Lano is also in talks with European retailers, according to Carriol, and is planning to pick a partner and launch in several hundred doors across Europe in 2017. The company’s products are sold in the U.K. and on Net-a-porter in addition to the U.S. and Australia. Industry sources estimated European expansion could grow the business by an additional 40 percent in the 2018-19 time frame.On top of its geographic expansion, Lano is working to launch e-commerce in the second half of the year, according to Carriol, who remains the sole owner of the business. She said she may consider financial partners over the next year or two in an effort to “supercharge” growth, including the e-commerce launch.
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