L’Oreal E-Commerce Growth Approaches 50%: ‘We Are Now Clearly A Digital-First Company’
E-commerce, Asia and travel retail continue to fuel gains at L’Oreal, which just posted its strongest first-half like-for-like growth in more than a decade. Skin care remains a key driver as well, offsetting a global slowdown in makeup that has hit the firm’s US business hardest, with little improvement expected this year.
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Makeup softness isn’t the problem, per se, in L’Oreal’s sluggish US business, which is fixable with sharper innovation and execution driven by a newly instated leadership team, CEO Jean-Paul Agon says. L’Oreal’s overall global sales in fiscal 2019 to date are up 7.5%, like-for-like, after continued strong momentum in its fiscal 2019 third quarter.
Over the fiscal 2019 first half, “we've continued to expand our market share across most categories, increased our brand awareness, delivered double-digit growth in active loyalty members, increased traffic and delivered double-digit growth in almost every key merchandise category,” said Ulta CEO Mary Dillon 29 August. However, worsening makeup trends have induced the firm to reset full-year targets.
J&J and Coty are among firms getting inside looks at digital beauty startups via accelerator programs that award funding and expertise to promising concepts. Emerging platforms for virtual sampling and personalized skin-care are proving big draws.