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EXCLUSIVE: The Ordinary Heads to India

The Ordinary is marking its entry into one of Lauder's hottest emerging markets, in partnership with retailer Nykaa.

As the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. ignites growth with globalization, one of its newest brands is heading east.

The Ordinary is heading to India. It will be available online at Nykaa, and in all 58 of the e-tailer’s Nykaa Luxe doors. The expansion comes after Lauder’s acquisition of The Ordinary’s parent company Deciem in 2021, in a move that valued the the company at $2.2 billion.

Nicola Kilner, Deciem’s chief executive officer, told WWD that the expansion had been in the works since 2017, and had been pushed back due to the pandemic. “India for us as a company has been happening for the last five years,” Kilner said. “It will be our biggest new market launch for four years. We have huge expectations.”

Kilner declined to quantify sales projections, but did say within the next five years, she expected India to be one of The Ordinary’s top three markets internationally. At the time of its acquisition last year, Deciem was said to be doing around $460 million in sales, driven largely by The Ordinary, which is best known for its affordable skin care products. Earlier this year, Lauder wound down operations of sister brands HIF, Hylamide, Abnomaly and The Chemistry Brand, leaving only The Ordinary and Niod under Deciem’s purview.

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“Even on Instagram, India is one of the top 10 countries where our followers are from,” Kilner added. “And we’re not even in that market yet. We do currently service it from our own e-commerce website, but we ship from the U.K. and it takes weeks to get there. Even with that, our sales have tripled over the last year in India.” According to a statement from the brand, India is also one of its top 20 markets currently.

Deciem is moving in step with its parent company, staying ahead of markets rife with opportunity. Sales in India have been rising company-wide, with executive vice president and chief financial officer Tracey Travis telling WWD in May that emerging markets such as India, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa seeing “strong growth” following the company’s most recent financial results.

Lauder is also bullish on the country long term. At the WWD Beauty CEO Summit in May, Lauder group president Stéphane de La Faverie also noted that average consumer spend on beauty in India increased to $1, adding that “we are committed to long-term investment in Asia and in India.”

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