As Per-fékt Beauty Inc. celebrates its 10th anniversary, it looks forward to another decade as a much larger brand.
Acquired late last year by Cosmetic Design Group, Los Angeles-based Per-fékt has received the backing necessary to support expanding its retail network, priming the product pipeline and raising consumer awareness with marketing initiatives. In three to five years, the brand is expected to reach at least $25 million in annual sales.
“We can be the next Tarte Cosmetics or Urban Decay with the financing we have now,” said Richard Anderson, a beauty industry veteran with stints at The Lancaster Group, Yves Saint Laurent and Bobbi Brown prior to starting Per-fékt. “The products speak for themselves. When we had our road bump in 2014 and 2015, that’s why we maintained because the products still have a unique point of difference after all these years.”
The road bump Anderson referred to is exiting Henri Bendel, a distribution setback Per-fékt overcame by entering 300 Ulta doors. Today, Per-fékt’s Ulta footprint is doubling to 600 doors, and it continues to be a mainstay at Beauty Brands and Sephora, where Anderson reported the brand’s Body Perfection Gel is a consistent strong performer.
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To increase Per-fékt’s business at its existing retailers, CDG is depending upon heavy sampling and sending educational staff to train sales associates at stores across the country. On top of those strategies, CDG founder Maurice Rasgon said, “We were able to move it into our warehouses, ship faster and keep more inventory on hand. Rather than not having enough in stock, we were able to order six to nine months of inventory, so turnaround is 24 to 48 hours. Per-fékt just didn’t have the funds to buy that sort of inventory previously, while it was growing.”
CDG has freed Anderson from handling day-to-day operations in order to concentrate on product development. Per-fékt, which introduced a blurring cream in its bestselling Skin Perfection Gel long before blurring was a beauty term, relies on gel technology to set it apart from rival brands. Its merchandise portfolio includes 13 products priced from $17.50 to $48, making it the second most expensive prestige brand at Ulta, according to Anderson.
Anderson estimated Per-fékt had been releasing around a product a year, but the launch pace is accelerating under CDG. “What really is going to grow the company is innovation. When you are a company like Per-fékt was, you are trying to find the funds to grow the company, and you don’t always have the time to focus on innovation or financing that innovation should you find the right items,” said Rasgon. “Richard’s role is to innovate, do more appearances and work on the social media platform.” He noted CDG has hired two social media specialists to help Anderson boost Per-fékt’s digital presence.
Anderson has already been updating Per-fékt’s collection of multitasking products. He created Skin Perfection Plus featuring SPF 30, enhanced coverage from the original Skin Perfection Gel and an extended shade range with six choices. “Our clients are getting more mature, and I wanted to do something that had more coverage for them,” explained Anderson, who stressed customers have also been requesting sun protection. An additional new product, Liquid Lash Curler, is designed to lift, curl, prime, build, lengthen and volumize lashes. “It cuts one of the steps out of the beauty ritual everyday because you don’t need a lash curler,” said Anderson.
Although CDG has produced prestige products for other brands, Per-fékt is the company’s first branded prestige asset. Preceding its purchase of Per-fékt, CDG secured an investment from Five Crowns Capital LLC and Corbel Structured Equity Partners. Rasgon pointed out the company is pursuing further acquisitions to dive deeper into the prestige beauty category, and mentioned it is actively circling three brands for possible pick-ups.
“Our focus these days is on brands such as Per-fékt that are more prestige or higher-end, but that doesn’t mean we won’t entertain a more affordable brand. The brand loyalty on the prestige side tends to be a lot better than the brand loyalty in affordable cosmetics, and it allows us higher gross margins,” said Rasgon. “There is more growth in prestige as we look at given international markets and the direction of the U.S. dollar with downward pressure on it. The prestige brands have more opportunities for social media as well.”
So far, Anderson is thrilled with the approach CDG has taken to nurture his brand. “Cosmetic Design Group infused the brand with capital, and I paid off all my debt. They are going to catapult the brand,” he said. “I ran it as a boutique brand before. We had been Hollywood’s best-kept secret, but we are tired of being that. We really want to get it out there, and make Per-fékt the next big thing in beauty.”