BEAUTENEWS.COM HAS FRENCH APPETITE
Byline: Jennifer Weil
PARIS — Beautenews.com wants to give Sephora.com a run for its money.
But money is the operative word.
If the month-old site here can drum up the funds, founder Sophie Tourbier said, it will seek to become the premier pure-play aggregator of its kind out of France — and possibly worldwide.
“We want to become the uncontested beauty portal,” said Tourbier, a former press officer, of her site, which includes beauty-related articles — there is information on the best treatments during pregnancy right now, for instance — product information classified by type, games and access to personalized beauty advice.
“We [ultimately] want to reference all French beauty products,” she said.
In the next few months, Tourbier would also like to begin e-tailing out of her La Baule, France, office. So far, she claims to have approached 140 brands to give her the go-ahead to either showcase or sell their products. Professional beauty line Sothys is the only one to sign on so far: Beautenews.com will have information regarding its skin care and makeup posted for one year. Tourbier claims there will be others soon.
She also said there is a growing number of cybernauts coming her way. Between Feb. 14 and Feb. 28, for instance, she counted 1,456 visitors, up 350 percent from the first half of that month.
But while it’s all systems go on the recruiting front, a glitch on the horizon is that high-end beauty brands cannot be e-tailed within the European Union, since selective distribution contracts disallow such trade. It looks like the European Commission might change this, however, in the next four months. In the meantime, though, she said she could start selling abroad if need be.
Another impending difficulty is a shortage of cash-flow. Tourbier said investors — or even a takeover — could come as a relief, since she has already shelled out $44,500 from her own pocket in the past quarter.
She hinted an acquisition could be in the offing.