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Companies & industry

Fragrance maker Equivalenza finds room for expansion in the midst of the Brazilian economic crisis

Headquartered in Barcelona, the company relies on the franchise model to thrive while others are reeling.

Caution isn’t the only thing you’ll find in the Brazilian market amid the economic turmoil. For Spanish fragrance company Equivalenza, 2016 is the right time to step on the gas. The brand is celebrating positive results since it opened shop to Brazilians last year, and plans a swift expansion in the number of units in the country.

Miguel Tormo, Equivalenza's general manager in Brazil

Miguel Tormo, Equivalenza’s general manager in Brazil

With promising figures springing up from their franchise stores in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte and Vila Velha, Miguel Tormo, Equivalenza’s general manager in Brazil, aims to set up new shops in Bahia, Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais. Expansion towards the state of São Paulo and the highly populated Northeast region are also planned for the short term.

The brand’s optimism is anchored both on experience and grasp over their customers’ profile. Equivalenza made its debut in Spain in 2011, when the economic crisis was still raging. “Our price point is accessible, which makes our business model highly resistant to market shifts,” explains Tormo.

He says the Brazilian consumer has a similar nose to that of the Europeans. The top markets for Oriental scents – the latest big thing in the industry – are France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. “Brazilians are very demanding. They are among the world’s largest fragrance markets,” says Tormo.

However, differently from their European counterparts, Brazilian consumers are more prone to lighter fragrances. They are also very open to new scents and switch perfumes quite often, which proves highly beneficial for Equivalenza. “This habit fits perfectly into our philosophy of offering a wide range of products at accessible prices. You don’t wear the same clothes everyday, so why would you use the same fragrance?” he asks.

The Brazilian connection

Equivalenza’s business model was seemingly built to endure rough waters with customization, wide product offer – including 140 male and female fragrances – and competitive prices. In the shops, products are sorted according to fragrance families and subfamilies, making it easy for customers to find a scent that matches their mood and style.

Perfumes are sold in bottles of 30ml, 50ml or 100ml. In Europe, the containers can be reused to reduce waste, but in Brazil this practice cannot be implemented under the regulations of the National Health Surveillance Agency, Anvisa. Axing fancy packaging is one of Equivalenza’s strategies to keep prices down and add value to the product itself, as well as going hand in hand with the company’s motto, “Equivalenza: Only Essenza”.

Besides fragrances, the brand also manufactures cosmetics; fragrance diffusers will soon be in the shops. Some of the products available in Brazil are still imported from Europe, but Equivalenza already has local partners operating under strict supervision. “Our fragrances are developed in the Barcelona headquarters using ingredients from the world’s largest suppliers. Some stages of production take place in Brazil, where we have articulated top-notch local partnerships with huge expertise in the industry,” says Tormo.

Global presence

The low-cost philosophy is an important loyalty factor for the brand. According to a study commissioned to Nielsen, seven out of ten clients who try Equivalenza’s products come back for more.

Their approach can hold its own even in demanding markets such as Italy. “Italians treasure high-quality fragrances and skip around different brands constantly. But we are seeing a pattern of loyalty with our products,” says Tormo, who states Equivalenza has over 160 shops in Italy and is set to keep expanding.

Today the brand is present in 36 countries spread throughout Europe, America and Africa, totaling over 700 points of sale around the world. Until the end of this year, Equivalenza intends to set foot on the Asian market, with stores coming to South Korea.

Fernanda Bonifacio


© 2016 - Brazil Beauty News -

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