Following an acquisition by Coty of over 40 P&G brands just over three years ago in one of the biggest merger deals in the beauty industry’s history, Senior Vice President Global Travel Retail, Philippe Margueritte, told TRBusiness that the company’s No1 priority now is to ‘step up’ its activity in colour cosmetics.
“I must say that the main priority for us this year is to really step up in colour cosmetics,” Margueritte told TRBusiness at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes last month. “It means that first of all we are going to re-launch Burberry makeup and this is our main focus.” Coty completed the acquisition of the Burberry Beauty licence – from Burbery Group Plc – in October last year.
“Today, in Coty luxury, we are pretty much a mono-category [business] with fragrances and we have a huge leadership worldwide on that. So therefore it is time for us to start building in other categories.
“So there are two other categories which we are looking at actually. Colour cosmetics and skincare. However, colour cosmetics is a more natural addition to a fragrance brand, while in skincare it’s a little more complicated to do that.
“We can easily imagine a very strong Burberry colour cosmetic range, but it’s a little bit more complicated to imagine a skincare range with this.”
MORE ACQUISITIONS TO FOLLOW?
Interestingly, Margueritte revealed that although the company already manages brands with an existing colour cosmetics component, the company may be looking elsewhere to strengthen this part of its portfolio.
“So we have some brands that already have colour that we can boost and enhance…And probably we will have some more…”
Returning to Burberry, Margueritte said Coty is ‘benefitting’ from the launch of a new fashion collection, from the brand’s new Chief Creative Officer, Riccardo Tisci who in September made the new range available for purchase not through Burberry’s High Street or online stores, but via the novel medium of Instagram; the social media platform owned by Facebook.
Riccardo Tisci caused quite a commotion when he unveiled his first collection at London Fashion Week as the new CCO at at Burberry, according to Margueritte.
“I am sure that you saw Burberry at London fashion week…the number of engagements and posts that [Riccardo] received has been outstanding,” added Margueritte.
BURBERRY’S NEW DNA
A month prior to London Fashion Week, Burberry and Tisci redesigned the company’s iconic monogram (in just four weeks by the way), adding further impetus to the decision by Coty to re-launch the makeup collection to fit with the brand’s new DNA.
“We are looking at how we can bring this into travel retail; this new DNA of the brand which is much more modern, vibrant and speaks to a younger generation. It’s not as classic as in the past I would say.”
Of course, Burberry is a double-threat for Coty, boasting a well-established fragrance range which now includes the recently launched ‘Her’ scent fronted by British supermodel, actress, author and social media darling, Cara Delevingne.
“Cara is so strong in social media, but at the moment she is only connected to the Her fragrance,” confirmed Markus Stauss, Coty VP Global Marketing Travel Retail. “We have new roll outs which are coming in Spring, so at that point we will see how we can leverage our existing partnership with Cara.
“There are more lip category and face category products to be launched early next year. So the story will continue. Cara is a really strong asset, but at the moment just for Burberry Her.”
When quizzed about existing colour cosmetics brands further, Marguerritte referred to Gucci fleetingly.
“There is still a range of Gucci cosmetics which is currently at LHR T5. Burberry is still the focus, but of course we are looking at all the opportunities we may have in other brands.”
‘CAREFUL’ CONSUMER BEAUTY STRATEGY
Of course Coty is more than enthusiastic about the success of its Gucci scents; the brand is now the fifth biggest fragrance brand in travel retail worldwide. (For more on Gucci and other fragrance pillars read Part 2 of this interview due to appear shortly).
For the uninitiated, Coty has three axes; Luxury, Consumer and Professional Beauty, but travel retail is the only organisation within the group which is worldwide and multi-divisional.
“Actually for example if you take colour cosmetics, which is one of our priority categories now, we are already working with consumer beauty brand, Bourjois for example. It’s already in our portfolio in key markets such as France and Brazil,” said Margueritte.
Of course, when it comes to colour cosmetics, few brands can boast such global notoriety as Covergirl which Coty picked up in the 2015 P&G deal. However, consumer beauty is not currently a key priority for Coty in duty free and travel retail.
“Covergirl is not in the immediate future for travel retail. In travel retail [we believe] consumer brands should be offered in select markets [not everywhere] because otherwise travellers don’t feel they are benefitting from a significant saving.
“That’s why we are very careful where we place these brands…There are some markets like the Middle East which are a good fit for some of our consumer products, along with India. So we are looking for opportunities in those markets.”
Margueritte points out that the company does have a clear strategy for Bourjois; a brand which benefits from a ‘masstige’ market position.
GOOD YEAR FOR PHILOSOPHY
“That’s why we are working more with Bourjois because it is more ‘masstige’. So we prefer to push that range because we believe there is a real saving benefit for the consumer.”
As mentioned, skincare represents a nominal portion of Coty’s business currently, but this is something the company wants to change. One of the brands which has given Coty a solid foundation from which to build on is US skincare, bath & body products brand, Philosophy.
“We had a good year with Philosophy actually,” insisted Margueritte. “We have been growing steadily, but we are still, when we compare ourselves with the big players in skincare, a small player. But you know skincare is a very long build.”
According to Margueritte, Philosophy launched the ‘best moisturiser in the US market’ this year, within the ‘Purity’ franchise, in addition to some new cleanser masks. “So the innovation in the Purity range, which is the brand’s biggest asset, was very strong last year.”
In Part 2 of this interview Philippe Margueritte highlights standout performances by some of the brand’s pillar fragrance brands and tells us that there have been some very ‘pleasant surprises’ since taking on P&G’s 40-plus brands.