Never let it be said that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter doesn’t put every ounce of her energy into her projects. In addition to her sold-out Mrs. Carter Show World Tour — which had its North American wrap this week in Brooklyn — the high-energy dynamo is also celebrating the sales of her fragrance franchise.
This story first appeared in the August 9, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Since entering the category in February 2010 with Beyoncé Heat — which resulted in a Macy’s Herald Square personal appearance that sold more than $75,000 worth of product in just a few hours — the 31-year-old entertainer has launched six scents with Coty, her fragrance licensee.
According to numbers provided by IRI, NPD and Nielsen, Beyoncé’s fragrance house has done upward of $400 million at retail globally, putting her in the top three with Elizabeth Taylor and Justin Bieber, according to Stephen Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing, American Fragrances, for Coty Prestige. Sold in more than 70 countries, the fragrances are available in about 55,000 doors globally. In the U.S., the brand has followed a multichannel distribution strategy which includes both prestige and mass distribution.
“Beyoncé has always chosen simple and strong concepts for her fragrances,” said Mormoris. “She’s very collaborative in that she knows what she wants and she has a very clear view of her fan base. These are just a few of the qualities that make her an excellent partner. She is excellent at making decisions and making things happen.”
Her latest fragrance, Beyoncé Heat The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, was launched earlier this year and has been sampled at all of her North American shows. “We always talk about bringing entertainment to retail,” said Marsha Brooks, vice president of global marketing, fragrances, for Coty Beauty. “With this scent, we brought retail to entertainment.” Brooks noted that in addition to the tour distribution, the tour fragrance will be sold in retail doors in the U.S., Australia, Ireland and the U.K. As well, she noted, the entertainer’s Beyoncé Parfums Facebook page boasts more than 350,000 fans.
Mormoris noted that a new pillar fragrance is in development for a 2014 launch, but declined to discuss details.
Choosing to do a limited-edition fragrance for a tour isn’t the norm, but Beyoncé’s fans have reacted very favorably, noted Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, general manager of Parkwood Entertainment. Callahan-Longo oversees vision and execution for the entertainer’s brands. “Beyoncé doesn’t want to be a celebrity fragrance line. The main interest in this is not pushing out a new fragrance every year. The main point of this is Beyoncé would like to have a parfum house. That’s why we’ve always tried to crack the code of being part of the list of top-selling prestige perfumes, not just celebrity [scents]. She wants these to be long-lasting and your favorite fragrance — not just your favorite fragrance this year.”
As well, noted Callahan-Longo, “[Beyoncé’s] business model has changed. She’s not doing much more by way of endorsements. If anything, it’s more about partnership and it’s more about equity ideas. Outside of Coty, there aren’t many [these days] and even that is a unique partnership — it’s a licensing deal, but she spends a whole lot of time crafting her fragrances. She’s involved with all aspects, from the juice to the packaging. She’s not real interested in licensing her name to things anymore.”
Beyoncé worked with International Flavors & Fragrances’ Clement Gavarry on the tour fragrance, which has top notes of mangosteen, organic acai pulp and spicy pink pepper; a heart of Brassia Edua Loo orchid, violet petals and Indian sambac jasmine, and a drydown of Madagascar vanilla, Australian sandalwood and organic Indonesian vetiver. A 30-ml. eau de parfum is $39, a 100-ml. edp is $59. Industry sources estimated it would do $10 million at retail.
After a little time at home with her equally busy husband, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and 19-month-old daughter Blue Ivy, Beyoncé will next tour Latin America, beginning Sept. 8 at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil. She’s also planning to tour Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Beyoncé would also like to do another fashion line at some point, but not in the near future, Callahan-Longo said. While her House of Deréon project is now owned by Li & Fung, apparel is still a priority to the fashionable star. In fact, she did a tie-in with Rent the Runway during her tour, which gave fans in North America a discount on gowns to wear to her concerts by clicking a link on her Web site.