Dec 16, 2019: Elisabeth King reports on this week’s business news

Prada inks new fragrance license with L’Oréal; Australian Retailers Association partners with Facebook; World's top 10 cosmetic exporting countries; and Adore Beauty gets intimate.

Prada inks new fragrance license with L’Oréal
Puig has been dealt two body blows over the past year. The Spanish fragrance and beauty maker, whose stable includes Paco Rabanne, Carolina Herrera and Jean Paul Gaultier, lost the Valentino fragrance license to L'Oréal in May. Prada also announced it would terminate its fragrance deal with Puig in 2020.

L'Oréal is aiming to grab the title of world leader in perfumes from Coty, which took over the number one spot in 2015 following its buyout of Procter & Gamble's luxury fragrance and beauty business. The goal has moved closer with the news that L'Oréal has also secured the Prada fragrance license.

Puig did a good job for Prada, notably by attracting younger consumers with the global bestseller Candy and follow-up flankers. Yet Prada felt that more could be done. Initially, Coty enjoyed equal footing with L'Oréal as a potential successor to Puig, but Patrizio Bertelli hailed the L'Oréal agreement as a partnership with "the leading global beauty company".

The first L'Oréal-made Valentino fragrances will debut in Australia early in the new year and the new Prada juices are scheduled to launch in 2021. Prada dabbled in skincare nearly 20 years ago with its individual capsules range. The new partnership with L'Oréal also offers major opportunities for luxury skincare and makeup collections from the Italian fashion house.

Australian Retailers Association partners with Facebook
The way consumers shop for just about everything has changed beyond recognition. According to Kate Box, Head of Retail for Facebook ANZ , consumers are discovering and curating products on Facebook and Instagram and closing the purchase where they want to, whether online or in-store. Last month, the social media titan co-hosted the Facebook Sydney Retail Tour, a panel discussion that covered the major challenges facing the retail industry, the future of augmented and virtual reality and how to make the shopping experience more seamless.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has announced a strategic partnership with Facebook to create closer links and allow Australian retailers to communicate better with consumers. "Facebook provides meaningful opportunities for retailers to reach out to customers, and our collaboration will help foster those relationships", says Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA.

The ARA is planning a program of events through 2020 to keep retailers abreast of key social media developments. We are excited to partner with the ARA to share the insights we have on the new shopper journey, and partner with retailers so they can leverage technology like ours to drive growth, adds Box.

World's top 10 cosmetic exporting countries
Global cosmetics and skincare exports have increased 53.2 per cent over the past five years to US$58.8 billion, says Investopedia, the world's leading source of financial content on the Internet. Australia and New Zealand account for only 1 per cent of worldwide beauty exports, a total similar to South America and Africa.

Europe continues to be responsible for close to half – 46.5 per cent – of global cosmetics exports, followed by Asia at 38.1 per cent and North America at 12.6 per cent. But Asian countries, mainly Japan and South Korea, have the highest growth rates in exports at 231.5 per cent and 209 per cent, respectively.

Australia remains a goldmine for the major cosmetic exporting countries, ranking 6th out of the global top 10 importing countries to the value of US$430.4 million. Here are the 10 top cosmetic exporting nations.

1) France - US$9.6 billion

2) United States - US$5.8 billion

3) Singapore - US$5.2 billion

4) South Korea - US$4.9 billion

5) Japan - US$3.9 billion

6) Germany - US$3.8 billion

7) Hong Kong - US$2.53 billion

8) China - US$2.47 billion

9) Italy - US$2.3 billion

10) the UK - US$2.2 billion

Adore Beauty gets intimate
The booming wellness trend has revolutionised how consumers define looking their best through a more wholistic approach across cosmetics, supplements and sexual health. Ever the pioneer, Adore Beauty, Australia's first cosmetics retailer to sell exclusively online, has expanded its remit from skincare and makeup to sex aids and products.

Consumers can click on to the Adore You link to check out bestselling supplements such as The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder, self-care musts like Black Chicken Remedies Copper Tongue Cleaner and sleep aids such as WelleCo Sleep Welle Calming Tea. Under the sex banner there's a disclaimer – We want to make sure you're comfortable – before proceeding to popular vibrators such as Smile Makers – The Romantic and cult vegan condoms like Jonny Lover's Dozen 13 Pack.

Few things perk up the complexion better than an enjoyable sex life and Adore Beauty's female-curated sexual health collection recognises this long-known fact. The move comes two months after private equity company, Quadrant Growth Fund, acquired a 60 per cent controlling stake in the fast-growing online beauty retailer.

Snippets from the Wires

  • It comes as no surprise that consumers overwhelmingly prefer to physically experience fragrances before purchase. A new report on the global prestige perfume market from The NPD Group reveals that e-commerce fragrance penetration remains low in key markets – 17 per cent in the UK, 14 per cent in the US and 7 per cent in France.
  • Obratori, the incubator arm of L'Occitane, has bought a minority stake in Le Rouge Francais, the French vegan lipstick brand. In 2017, the prestige French beauty chain entered the natural cosmetics market with a 40 per cent stake in LimeLight by Alcone, the US natural beauty player, increasing its holding to 60 per cent a year later.
  • Shiseido is ramping up its beauty export business. The Japanese giant has opened its first domestic production facility in 36 years in Otawara, a small town north of Tokyo. The company plans to open two more new factories over the next two years to boost the all-important "Made in Japan" tagline.
  • A new report from travel site reports that Chinese nationals spent US$127.5 billion on outbound travel this year. Women represent 55 per cent of Chinese overseas travelers. The top 10 countries for Chinese international tourist spend are: Japan, the UAE, the UK, France, Singapore, the US, Spain, South Korea, Italy and Australia. Australia also ranks among the top 10 countries for fastest shopping growth by Chinese tourists.