Elizabeth Arden Inc. chairman, president and chief executive officer E. Scott Beattie said today that JuE Wong has been named president of the Elizabeth Arden brand — a new role — effective August 3. Beattie also announced that it has signed a joint venture agreement with Asian prestige beauty distributor Luxasia Ventures Pte Ltd. for the Southeast Asia region.
Wong has extensive skin-care experience and was previously chief executive officer of StriVectin and Astral Brands. She also held leadership positions for a handful of other brands, including N.V. Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals and Murad.
“With extensive commercial and marketing experience, as well as a proven track record in growing brands internationally, JuE’s dynamic leadership skills will leverage our existing capabilities and be a strong complement to our current organization,” said Beattie. “JuE is a demonstrated leader in the beauty industry with specific expertise in developing and growing multiple prestige skin-care brands that are based on highly efficacious performance.”
Beattie noted that Wong’s experience includes deep commercial and marketing experience spanning product development, integrated marketing communications, sales and operational expertise and developing strong digital platforms.
Beattie further noted that Wong’s international experience in developing new markets — particularly those in Asia — would be an asset as the company retools itself.
Beattie said in May that he was “pleased” with the turnaround campaign thus far, adding that the brand is seeing growth for the Elizabeth Arden brand both in North America and in international markets, “giving us confidence as we head into the relaunch of the Elizabeth Arden brand marketing campaign this fall,” said Beattie. “Our balance sheet and cash-flow metrics also continue to improve and remain ahead of plan, resulting in $41 million in operating cash flow through the first nine months of this fiscal year.”
Net sales of the company’s Elizabeth Arden branded products increased by approximately 3 percent (10 percent at constant foreign currency rates) in the third fiscal quarter with growth across both the North America and international segments, Beattie noted, while net sales of non-Elizabeth Arden branded fragrances decreased by 18 percent (17 percent at constant foreign currency rates) in the third fiscal quarter.
By segment, North America-segment net sales declined by 12 percent (11 percent at constant foreign currency rates) and the international segment net sales decreased by 6 percent (an increase of 1 percent at constant currency rates).
Sales of the international segment and the Elizabeth Arden brand reflect increased skin-care sales, particularly in Asia as a result of a new distribution strategy and the impact of prior period proactive tightening of distribution globally, Beattie noted, adding that declines in sales of non-Elizabeth Arden branded fragrances reflect lower sales of celebrity fragrances, which primarily impacted the company’s North American business, and a lower level of new fragrance innovation.
Arden has also signed a joint venture agreement for the Southeast Asia region with Luxasia, whose specific expertise is in Asia, and expects to commence operations in the first fiscal quarter of fiscal 2016.
“The joint venture between Elizabeth Arden and Luxasia in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong is an important step towards the reorganization and a faster development of our brands in this strategic part of the world,” said Eric Lauzat, president of Arden’s international business. “The expertise of the Luxasia Group in Asia will allow us to better deploy the Elizabeth Arden brand in the prestige distribution and to provide our John Varvatos and Juicy Couture fragrance brands broader geographical prestige distribution in the fast-growing Asian fragrance market.”
Luxasia handles a raft of brands in Southeast Asia, including Calvin Klein, Peter Thomas Roth, Philosophy and Darphin.