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Estée Lauder Companies officially owns the majority of The Ordinary’s Deciem

Cosmetic Business | 19 May 2021

Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has increased its ownership of the skin care brand developer Deciem. The New York-based industry giant first invested in the maker of The Ordinary in 2017 and announced the gradual takeover of Deciem in February. ELC has since increased its stake from 29% to 76%. ELC has confirmed that it will purchase the remainder of the Canadian company after three years “at a price that will be determined based on the future performance of Deciem”. Deciem was founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur Brandon Truaxe, with Nicola Kilner, the company’s current CEO, joining Deciem shortly after. “While looking for investment in 2017, we met with many potential partners. From private equity to other large conglomerates, nobody made our hearts fuzzy. That was until we met The Estée Lauder Companies,” Kilner wrote in an open letter on deciem.com. “From the first time they flew to our cozy Toronto home, to meeting Leonard, William, and Fabrizio, it became clear it was the match we thought we could only dream of. Sign up for your free email newsletter “Brandon said so proudly, the only forever home for Deciem is ELC. They put brand ahead of business and are family orientated throughout – two values we ferociously hold dear.”

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Is Asos connecting with beauty platforms Cult and Feelunique?

Cosmetics Business | 19 May 2021

Online fashion and beauty retailer Asos is said to be mulling a takeover of Cult Beauty and Feelunique as the group expands its beauty portfolio. According to a report by Sky News, the prospect of buying the pure-play beauty platforms, which have been put up for sale by their current owners, is a possibility but uncertain, and it is likely that just one of the two targets will be pursued. A purchase of either platform would cement Asos’ position as a competitive beauty player, having reported record growth of 114% for its face and body category in its half-year interim results. If Asos is to be successful in securing one of the multi-million pound businesses, it will have to fend off competition from THG Holdings, parent company of The Hut Group and German e-commerce group Zalando, who are also thought to be interested in making an offer for the beauty sites. Sky News reported that bids for both businesses are due to come in over the next few weeks. A takeover by Asos would mark another significant milestone for the company after its buyout of Arcadia’s Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands for £295m in February this year. The move put some 2,500 jobs in jeopardy after Asos said it did not want to take on the brands’ 70 bricks-and-mortar outlets.

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Instant delivery apps have post-pandemic staying power for beauty

Glossy | 7 May 2021

The pandemic spurred beauty brands’ adoption of two-hour delivery, and they’re not stopping now — even with hope for normal life on the horizon. Instant delivery platforms such as FastAF, Instacart, Doordash, Postmates and Uber Eats have been quickly growing their list of official beauty brand partners. Curated two-hour delivery platform FastAF, for example, recently expanded its coverage area beyond Los Angeles and New York, to San Francisco and Miami. The app has added an assembly of cult beauty brands to its lineup with Goop, Dedcool, Dieux, The Feelist, Olaplex and Fur, among other new partners, in recent months. And for Mother’s Day 2021, The Honest Company is teaming up with Doordash for a set of last-minute gift baskets featuring the brand’s beauty and body care products. Over 50% of brands stocked on FastAF are official brand partners now, said Lee Hnetinka, founder and CEO of FastAF. New arrivals join trendy names such as Dr. Barbara Sturm, Byredo, Aesop and KNC Beauty. With free delivery on purchases of $30 or more, the app saw its sales double from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, with 63% week-on-week growth during the 2020 holiday season.

Meet Beaubble, a beauty community platform and influencer brand incubator

Glossy | 11 May 2021

Indie brands, Lim said, face similar challenges to influencers creating product. “The only option you really have is to just set up your own e-commerce or work with retailers who take 50-60% of the retail price. It’s not fair,’” Lim said. “But that’s not the case, if you really build the right community platform. We can allow these indie brands to be seen by more consumers out there.” This, of course, is mutually beneficial, as it allows Beaubble community members to discover new brands. As for how the brands might continue to work with Beaubble after the pop-up, Lim said, “We told them, ‘If you like the experience that you’re having on Beaubble, we will help you set up your community page on the platform [just like Monday Born].’” Then, they’d be able to sell their products on the platform, while also taking advantage of the community chat function.

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We’re not trying to be a retailer’: Google’s commerce president Bill Ready on growing the shopping ecosystem

Modern Retail | 6 May 2021

Google wants to make it crystal clear that it’s not a marketplace. True, people can buy things on Google, but it also lets sellers link out to other marketplaces. On the Modern Retail Podcast, Bill Ready, the company’s president of commerce and payments, discussed this important nuance. “We’re not a retailer, we’re not a marketplace,” he said. In his estimation, Google is about helping shoppers discover products (and sometimes letting them transact with in the platform). While the site looks and feels like a marketplace, he insisted that Google’s utility provides something markedly different. On opening up the marketplace: “Previously, if you wanted to list your products for sale on Google, you needed to buy an ad to do that. So you need to be a paying [Google] customer…That was an ad-driven product. Last year, we opened that up and said, you can still buy an ad if you want to, which is going to get you great placement. But we made it free for any merchant to list all their products for sale on Google. And that’s been really impactful — both for merchants, where we saw an 80%-plus increase in the merchants on our platform last year. We nearly doubled the number of merchants on the platform. [That was] largely driven by opening that up to make it free for merchants of any size to list.”

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