For the past couple of years, we at WWD Beauty Inc have been firmly focused on the meteoric rise of a new generation of Indie brands whose impact on the industry at large has been nothing short of transformational. In this issue, we are turning out attention to the titans of beauty, and the extraordinary changes that have been happening at the very highest reaches of the industry’s power structure.
This story first appeared in the October 14, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
To wit: In the last six months, there have been three $1 billion-plus deals—with Unilever, L’Oréal and Johnson & Johnson snapping up Dollar Shave Club, It Cosmetics and Vogue International (parent company of OGX) respectively, plus a host of smaller but equally strategic acquisitions.
Word on the street indicates that the buying spree isn’t over. “The strategics are staking their ground. They are making big seismic moves because they want to ‘own’ categories or they want to be a first mover in terms of addressing certain consumer needs,” says Financo’s Vennette Ho of the accelerated pace of deal-making. “They are paying a lot of money for these companies. These are not little moves—they are big responsive moves to address changing consumer dynamics and shifts in the retail industry.”
In “State of Change,” WWD’s executive editor of beauty, Pete Born, o ers an in-depth analysis of the primary forces that are reshaping the global beauty scene. For a roadmap to the future, turn to page 18.
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As Born writes, social media and the rise of a new class of influencers are the factors that have helped propel the U.S. beauty market to growth of over $1 billion a year since the Great Recession, making it the fastest category of any tracked by The NPD Group. In “The Wide World of Influence,” WWD’s West Coast beauty editor Rachel Brown assesses the impact of social media on a global basis, and has also compiled a list of the top 10 influencers in four key regions: Asia, Europe, the Mideast and Latin America. While some markets lag behind the U.S., it’s only a matter of time, Brown reports in her story, which starts on page 28. “Change is going to happen,” Ipsy’s Marcelo Camberos told her, “because you can only ignore it for so long.”