Clarins Group USA has promoted three executives as part of its upcoming alliance with Paris-based Inter Parfums SA.
Danyelle Boilard-Paul, previously senior vice president of sales and education, has been elevated to executive vice president of sales and education, and she will continue to report to Jonathan Zrihen, president and chief executive officer. Boilard-Paul will be involved with the portfolios of the Clarins brand plus the Clarins Fragrance Group, which includes the Thierry Mugler, Azzaro, David Yurman, Porsche Design and Swarovski labels.
Debbie Nuzzo, previously vice president of sales at the Clarins brand for the Northeast and Midwest, has been promoted to senior vice president of sales for the new hybrid sales platform, known as Clarins Fragrance Group — Inter Parfums. This comprises brands of the Clarins Fragrance Group plus those of Inter Parfums, which include Burberry, Burberry Beauty, Lanvin, Montblanc and Jimmy Choo. She will head the combined forces of the two companies, numbering two vice presidents, two area sales directors and 36 account executives. Inter Parfums has created a U.S. subsidiary, called Inter Parfums Luxury Brands. It will be led by Stanislas Archambault, managing director. Nuzzo will report to him as well as Boilard-Paul on the Clarins side.
Meanwhile, Maria Dempsey has been promoted from senior to executive vice president of marketing for the Clarins brand. She will continue to report to Zrihen.
During an interview earlier this week at Clarins’ headquarters in New York, Philippe Benacin, president and ceo of Inter Parfums SA, gave his rationale for combining forces with Clarins and laid out a timetable.
Previously, Burberry fragrances and the Burberry Beauty color cosmetics collection plus Lanvin were distributed to Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom by the fine fragrance division of Procter & Gamble. Van Cleef, which was exclusively distributed to Neiman Marcus, was handled by Sylvie Ganter. Benacin said the entity will assume control of most of the brands on Jan. 1, while the Van Cleef business will switch over on July 1. Benacin said 2011 will be devoted to taking control and stabilizing the existing businesses while planning for the future.
He said the arrangement will be “more qualitative and efficient.” Instead of trying to keep tabs on the U.S. market indirectly through distributors, Inter Parfums will have a clearer view by invoicing directly to retailers and being able to fine-tune distribution. Archambault added, “We will have a huge opportunity by looking deeply into the market.”
He declined to cite dollar figures, but industry sources estimate that Inter Parfums does about $60 million to $65 million at wholesale in the U.S. The volume of the Clarins Fragrance Group is thought to be roughly similar.
Inter Parfums will be launching a Montblanc men’s fragrance in the spring and introducing the Jimmy Choo brand on a global basis.
Zrihen praised the setup as a way of “sharing structural costs to free up investment and put the [money] back into the marketing and build the brands.” It’s also a way of building critical sales mass. He reiterated that the collaboration allowed a 20 to 25 percent increase in the size of the selling staff. The two companies will share the management of the joint sales force and split the cost.
For a fee, Clarins will provide financial, administrative and logistics services, plus warehousing, in its Orangeburg, N.Y., facility. Archambault and his new Inter Parfums Luxury Brands subsidiary will be housed in Clarins’ Park Avenue offices in Manhattan. The companies will invoice retailers independently, although the combined sales force will sell both fragrance portfolios. Both sides said they expect to share some synergies, which might include buying media or promotional materials together or shouldering the cost of rotators in some smaller accounts.
Benacin said the agreement gives Inter Parfums a leg up on the highly competitive and unwieldy U.S. market. “If we had to start from scratch…,” Benacin said, contemplating the task. Turning to Zrihen with a smile, he completed the thought: “Thank you, Clarins, you saved us two years of effort.”