Beauty powerhouse L’Oréal is planning to launch an array of new products and advertisements to compete in a market that has been reshaped by COVID-19, Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon told the Financial Times.
The newspaper quoted him as saying, “We want to go on the offensive again,” listing new initiatives that include the launch of new high-end perfumes by Giorgio Armani and Valentino and a new shampoo by Garnier.
The first half of 2020 brought major increases in online commerce for L’Oréal amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The beauty company said its online sales now comprise a quarter of its group revenue.
“This has been a tipping point for many consumers, as many discovered buying online for the first time,” Agon told the FT – even in countries where the brand has a strong online presence, he said the increase in internet sales “is unbelievable.”
“This has been the biggest phenomenon for us in the past six months,” he said.
L’Oréal’s financial results for the first half of 2020, released on Thursday (July 30), include revenue growth of 17.5 percent in China and eCommerce growth of 65 percent. At the same time, overall financial results reflected the hit delivered by COVID-19.
In prepared marks released alongside the results, Agon said: “The consumption of beauty products over the period was strongly impacted by the closure of millions of points of sale (hair salons, perfumeries, department stores, airport stores, etc.), which caused a real crisis of supply rather than demand, with consumers temporarily unable to purchase products and services.”
In other news, last year L’Oréal’s virtual reality business, Modiface, partnered with Amazon to provide customers with makeup testing technology for virtual “try-ons” using mobile phone videos or pictures.