By  on September 19, 2008

With his background in finance, Elizabeth Arden Inc.’s E. Scott Beattie may claim to approach the beauty business purely by the numbers. But Beattie’s shrewd intellect and intuition have also played a large role in Arden’s success, which has seen sales increase more than 20-fold since Beattie and his partners first acquired the Miami-based distributorship French Fragrances in 1992 and transformed it into the $1.3 billion Elizabeth Arden.

Beattie was the first beauty industry executive to recognize shifting consumer shopping patterns and the blurring between mass and prestige shoppers, as he recounted during the Cosmetic Executive Women’s Newsmaker Forum held on Tuesday evening in Manhattan. “We recognized the opportunity to help develop the prestige fragrance business at mass in the U.S.,” he said, noting that the company is responsible for all of Target’s prestige fragrance business, about 70 percent of Wal-Mart’s and between 50 and 90 percent of other mass retailers such as CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens. “Wal-Mart has 125 million people in its stores weekly,” he continued. “It has a $16 billion beauty department. It’s a major player, and if you’re in the beauty business, you have to have a Wal-Mart strategy.”

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