The discovery of the new Giorgio Armani Cosmetics boutique in Hong Kong (see Brandwatch of 26 January) and the new format of the Chanel Beauty boutique (see Brandwatch of 8 September 2013) prompted me to look closely at what luxury brands are preparing as new retail concepts for their beauty offers. As it often happens, these new concepts are tested and developed in Asia, as near as possible to the most demanding market ... with the greatest potential.
- HONG KONG:
A Beauty Gallery has opened in Pacific Place where, alongside brands already well ensconced in retail (La Prairie, La Mer, Nars, Natura Bisse) we see new players - including Chanel, Burberry, and two L'Oréal brands (Giorgio Armani, YSL). This clearly speaks for itself: luxury brands are opening beauty boutiques, thus arming themselves with new distribution channels, in addition to their corners in department stores. This allows them access (at long last) to the final consumer, until now exclusively handled by Sephora, Marrionaud and other multi-brand retailers. The battle for consumer databases and the implementation of serious "precision marketing" has begun.
India is still in many ways a mission territory for luxury brands. Yet you can already find beauty boutiques there. I found two - Chanel (at the Palladium Mall) and Lancôme (at the Grand Galleria outside the Palladium) – in Mumbai. But what was even more interesting was the L'Oréal Paris boutique I discovered, dedicated to makeup! I earlier mentioned the L'Oréal Paris Institute boutique on a Costa cruise ship – and we realize that the work begun by Jean-Paul Agon in the USA, where he opened boutiques for the brand, is now continuing in Asia. We can expect the opening of L'Oréal Paris boutiques worldwide - reinforcing its current strategy of moving upmarket and its "exit" from supermarket shelves...