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L’Occitane au Brésil celebrates one year and plans exports

About a year ago, L’Occitane en Provence chose Brazil for a strategy that was previously unheard of in nearly 40 years of the brand’s history: to launch its first line of products manufactured outside France.

Using traditional ingredients from the Brazilian biodiversity that had never been used before in the manufacture of cosmetics, the “Brazilian-made products with a French soul” have become a sensation in the country and should hit Europe, the U.S., Latin America and Canada in the next two months. “On this first anniversary, we are celebrating the success of the brand in around 30 points of sale, including company-owned and franchised stores, in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Sergipe and Goiás”, said Marialice Rocha, Manager of Corporate Communications at L’Occitane in Brazil.

L'Occitane au Brésil kiosk - Shopping Eldorado - Sao Paulo

L’Occitane au Brésil kiosk - Shopping Eldorado - Sao Paulo

With products marketed at prices around 30% lower than the imported equivalents (ranging from R$11 to R$80 per item), the brand has been growing in popularity among classes A and B, and has also won consumers in class C, competing with big names like Natura and O Boticário. Although the company has not divulged details of its internationalization strategy, the products of the Vitória-Régia and Jenipapo lines will be sold in Europe at similar prices to those of L’Occitane en Provence.

According to Benjamin Beaufils, General Manager of L’Occitane in Brazil, the brand was launched after two years of research and development with a team of professionals from Brazil and abroad. The ingredients used in the manufacture of the products are cultivated using sustainable methods, by local communities, contributing to the preservation of Brazil’s natural resources and the social and economic well-being of the families involved. Five ingredients of the Brazilian flora have already been incorporated into the brand’s product lines: Jenipapo, Mandacaru, Bromélia, Vitória-Régia and Araucária.

Illustrated by local artists in partnership with L’Occitane’s artistic director, Olivier Baussan, the visual identify of each of the lines highlights new techniques and aspects that emphasize the nature and culture of Brazil”, said Marialice. Known as “minimarkets”, the brand’s kiosks were inspired by Brazil’s municipal markets, which represent the wealth of flavours and aromas of the country.

Blazing a trail that differs from that of its main competitors, who continue to invest in the direct sales channel, L’Occitane is placing its stakes on retail and has just reinaugurated its store at the Shopping Pátio Higienópolis, in São Paulo, with a rereading of Provence under the creative look of Brazilian artists of Coletivo MUDA. The new flagship store has doubled in size, and now has ample floorspace of 105 sqm.

According to the latest profit and loss statement announced by L’Occitane, it recorded a 7% growth in sales in Brazil in the 2013 tax year. Brazil contributed around 3% of the worldwide growth, with a share of 4% (approximately €42 million) of the company’s total sales, reinforcing the potential for expansion of the brand in the world’s third largest cosmetics consumer market.

Fernanda Bonifacio

Portfolio

© 2014 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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