BEAUTY CARE

L’Oreal Group posts Q1 gain, but finds difficulties in North America

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARIS The L’Oreal group posted a sales increase of 2.1 percent for the first quarter, but faced some hurdles in North America, where the environment proved to be “exceptionally difficult.”

“In North America, after an exceptional fourth-quarter 2007, we had been anticipating a lackluster first quarter; in fact, it turned out to be more difficult because of lower footfall in department stores and larger than expected inventory reductions by our distributors,” stated Jean-Paul Agon, chief executive officer. “We are confident in our ability to accelerate our growth over the coming quarters thanks to favorable launch phasing, better prospects in North America and continuing dynamism in the other zones. We are, therefore, able to confirm our annual like-for-like growth target range of 6 percent to 8 percent.”

In North America, the consumer products division recorded negative growth reflecting a 2007 comparison base boosted by the launch of Nutritioniste by Garnier, and a very sluggish marketing combined with strict inventory management by distributors.

However, the beauty company noted that it strengthened its leadership in makeup given the success of Bare Naturale and Infallible Lip by L’Oreal Paris, and the launch of Mineral Power from Maybelline.

In facial care, Nutritoniste by Garnier is achieving strong sell-through growth thanks to the successful launch of Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage.

The company expects launch phasing to be more favorable in the second quarter.

Total sales increased 2.1 percent to 4.359 billion euros ($6.96 billion). Like-for-like the increase in sales was 5.1 percent.

The Body Shop, which has 2,442 stores in 59 countries, posted like-for-like sales growth of 7.4 percent. Retail sales increased 6.4 percent, with a comparable store base, the increase in sales totaled 1.9 percent. All of the geographic zones, except North America, made a solid start to the year, according to the company, with particularly strong performances in Russia, Romania, Thailand, Malaysia, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

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Dove re-launches Web site as Dove Digital Channel

BY Antoinette Alexander

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Unilever’s Dove has launched the Dove Digital Channel, signaling a new approach to online marketing.

The consumer site, which brings The Campaign for Real Beauty and the Dove product portfolio to life, launched Thursday in the United States, and will be rolled out globally in the upcoming launches in the U.K. and Canada over the next three months.

The Dove Digital Channel is the re-launch of Dove.com and is designed to be a source for information, education and inspiration. It has formed marketing alliances with OgilvyInteractive and Microsoft’s MSN as part of the initiative. MSN provides Dove with access to its global audience of 465 million unique users per month in 42 markets and 21 languages.

The site will feature an editorial board of experts, inspirational guest editors and “ambassadors.” Women will have the opportunity to join the conversation of real beauty through blogs and message forums at both Dove.com and Dove.MSN.com. In addition, women will have the opportunity to learn about Dove products through video shorts, op-ed pieces and editorial online.

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Jane & Co. launches first TV ad campaign

BY Antoinette Alexander

BALTIMORE, Md. Beauty company Jane & Co. is launching its first television campaign to better reach millions of women and further tap into the popular mineral makeup market.

As reported earlier this year in Drug Store News’ ECRM Cosmetics, Fragrance & Bath post show report, the new television campaign is in addition to the Jane Be Pure spring print campaign aimed at reaching nearly 20 million women. The print campaign can be seen in such magazines as Glamour, Allure and Lucky.

Playing off the name Jane—as in Tarzan and Jane—the new television spot shows a model applying the company’s Be Pure mineral makeup as she gets a text message from Tarzan. The text reads: “Jane, r u coming?” She is then seen swinging from a tree vine to meet the shirtless Tarzan. The tag line is “Jane Be Pure mineral makeup. It’s my Jane-eration.”

The mineral makeup collection is talc-free, oil-free, wax-free and fragrance-free. Products in the line include Mineral Powder, Mineral Foundation, Pillowed and Crushed Blushes and Eye Shadows.

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