SEPHORA BUYS ITALIAN PERFUMERY

PARIS — Sephora just can’t get enough of Italy.
The LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton subsidiary announced Friday it has acquired Carmen, a 27-door perfumery chain located in the central and southern parts of the country.
The company would not divulge the purchase price, but a Paris-based analyst estimated it at about $24 million.
LVMH has been hot on the Italian acquisition trail: In February, it snapped up the 19-door Boidi chain; in 1999, it took over the 46-unit Laguna perfumery chain, and in 1998, it acquired the seven-door Kharys perfumery chain.
“The Carmen acquisition completes our cultivation of the Italian market,” an LVMH spokesman said. He explained that while Carmen doors are spread throughout southern Italy, Boidi’s and Kharys’ doors are primarily in the north.
“It will enable Sephora, which is meeting with great success in Italy, to reinforce its leading position in this market where it has 10 percent market share and 102 stores,” the company said in a statement.
Carmen’s volume is expected to reach $30 million this year, LVMH continued.
Italy is a key market for LVMH, particularly because the Christian Dior brand — also part of the luxury-goods group — is number one in Italy’s prestige market for skin care and fragrance combined, an analyst said.
Sephora’s continued expansion in Italy should enable Dior to reinforce its leadership in that market.

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