Decléor is giving up on the U.S. market.
A year after rolling out a brand “reawakening” with a strong focus on building its American business, WWD has learned that the French skin-care brand will cease to supply the U.S. market next week. In June 2016, the brand was doing 75 percent of its business through the professional channel, with a presence in 10,000 doors spanning 70 countries. In the U.S., however, the range was carried at just over 350 locations.
A spokeswoman for Decléor said the last day of U.S. business will be June 30. The brand declined further comment.
Decléor’s failure in America is a big blow to parent company L’Oréal’s ambition for the brand.
The beauty giant acquired Decléor and Carita from Shiseido Co. Ltd. three years ago for 227.5 million euros for the two brands — and given the price, growth in the U.S. was key. Decléor spent 2015 readying for a brand refresh in America that kicked off in 2016. Early last year, the brand changed its logo, launched new advertising and promotional materials and even named a U.S. brand ambassador for the first time, New York-based celebrity facialist Mzia Shiman.
“Companies are becoming more focused on rationalizing products that appear to be underperforming sooner when the lead indicators suggest that the brand is falling sort of expectations,” said Martin Okner, managing director at SHM Corporate Navigators. “It used to be that we would give a brand a year or so to look and see and maybe make a few adjustments to the marketing strategy or the product… to try and make it work. Now I think companies are realizing that that model is a way of the past. They need to be more dynamic in discontinuing products where the metrics suggest they’re not working.”
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Part of L’Oréal’s expansion plan worldwide was to double down on skin, body and mind — the pillars Decléor was founded on when Solange Dessimoulie started the company in 1974. It’s been reported that a bottle of Aromessence serum, the hero product of the brand, is sold globally every 30 seconds — and Decléor wanted to push this message in the U.S., where brand awareness remained significantly lower than in other parts of the world. For instance, a media event took place in New York in May that saw guests interacting with Aromessence via six experiences that contained high-touch stimuli and a tie-in to the product. In January, Decléor launched its most high-end range to date. The five-piece Orexcellence collection, packaged in luxe, gold glass bottles, is an update of the brand’s original, decade-old Excellence De L’Age antiaging line. The Aromessence Magnolia Youthful Oil Serum in the range retails for $105, 43 percent more than the $73 Aromessence Néroli Hydrating Oil Serum.
But Okner also said the underperformance of Decléor in the U.S. market perhaps resulted from an overall lagging skin-care sector. The industry remained hopeful that skin care would “bounce back,” but that still hasn’t happened, he said.
He added: “Consumers are still embracing makeup because of the instant transformation it offers, and skin care has a much more delayed effect. There’s a lag from when you apply the product to the time that you begin to see results. That’s really the crux of it.”