LVMH LAUNCHES 1ST MASS LINE
Byline: Brid Costello
PARIS — Call it supermarket chic. Make Up For Ever, the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned makeup artist cosmetics brand, is introducing Yours by Make Up For Ever, a mass market line destined solely for hypermarket distribution.
“It’s an experiment,” said Patrick Choel, president of LVMH’s fragrance and beauty division. “We want to validate that luxury can work in mass.”
The line is being rolled out to approximately 100 French hypermarkets this month. Distribution will follow in other markets depending on the line’s performance in France.
Choel said the line is intended to expand Make Up For Ever’s customer base, as women tend to shop for cosmetics in several different places — including hypermarkets. The foray into the mass market could add up to significant sales, the Yours range could eventually out-pace sales of the original Make Up For Ever line, said Choel. Industry sources estimate that, in its first year, Yours could ring up more than $10 million at retail. Retailers too will benefit, according to Choel, due to its luxury image of the brand and its potential to increase margins.
Olivier Mauny, managing director of Make Up For Ever, said that Yours is an experiment that will significantly increase brand recognition for the parent line.
“There is great awareness of Make Up For Ever among makeup artists and professionals, that’s not the case with the normal consumer. [Yours By Make Up For Ever] will reinforce the awareness of the master brand.”
The original Make Up For Ever brand, which is currently available in more than 200 doors worldwide, will remain a strictly selective distribution operation.
“Yours does not affect at all our wish and will to develop selective distribution,” said Money, adding that he has spent two years tightening control over distribution of the brand. “We have ended distribution in some very important markets where we weren’t happy with how things were working out so far. In the U.S., for example, we have full control over the market, since we created a subsidiary in December 2000.”
The new line is a pairing of LVMH resources, the Make Up For Ever team headed by company founder and makeup artist Dany Sanz and La Brosse and DuPont, one of France’s leading suppliers of products and services to the hygiene and beauty trade for the mass market. LVMH took control of La Brosse et DuPont in 1998 through its acquisition of the Lyon, France-based Laflachere group.
“We are using existing synergies in the perfume and cosmetics branch under Patrick Choel,” said Mauny. “It comes as an obvious opportunity to use the creativity and professionalism of Make Up For Ever on one side and the creativity and professionalism of La Brosse and DuPont on the other side.”
Yours By Make Up For Ever consists of 163 stockkeeping units comprising 26 cosmetic products in 150 colors and 13 accessories including brushes and makeup sponges. The original Make Up For Ever line has 1,400 references, according to Mauny, this will help consumers differentiate between the two lines.
“Yours has both the assets and advantages of a professional line with a very selective approach. It won’t spoil Make Up For Ever’s image, it’s a different line, a different size — it’s 163 sku’s compared with 1,400 — they’re different products, different formulas and shades. Yours is a different line geared to a general audience.”
Confusion among customers is not a concern, according to Money, as LVMH carried out qualitative research and found that Make Up For Ever customers can appreciate and differentiate between the two lines without a problem.
“It’s convenient to be able to find a line done by the founder of Make Up For Ever [in hypermarkets], customers take it very positively,” added Money.
The price range of the line also insures its luxury positioning relative to other mass-market brands. “Prices are 20 to 30 percent higher than the most expensive mass market product. It’s 40 percent more expensive than the average,” said Choel. Prices range from $4.20 for an eyeliner to $10.20 for a 0.35-oz foundation compact. Accessories retail at between $2.80 for an eyebrow brush to $35 for a makeup case. All prices are converted at the current exchange rates.
Yours By Make Up Forever is in the same minimalist packaging spirit of the parent line with a soft-touch feel. Products will be stored on a display system that permits customers to test products.
“Usually customers can’t test products, that’s the problem with [mass market],” said Choel.
Choel said that he has no plans to take other LVMH niche brands to mass market.