L’Oreal goes Affordable

lipstick.jpgFurther evidence of the trend towards a more frugal consumer comes from L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics company.
Like Procter & Gamble, it was slow to react to the trends identified by the major retail chains some 2 years ago. As a result, its profits fell 14% in H1, after decades of 10% annual increases.
And like P&G, it is undertaking a fundamental reassessment of its product portfolio and mission statement. As CEO Jean-Paul Agon notes, its new focus is on “affordable innovation” rather than “premium-isation“.
Until recently, its aim was “more performance and higher prices”. Now, Agon says the drive is to “create affordable ranges”.
Agon also casts doubt on the idea that lipstick sales increase during a recession, as consumers seek “an inexpensive indulgence“. He says this is no longer true, and that instead women want their “skin to look perfect“. No doubt readers, as well as my fellow-bloggers Barbara, Malini and Doris, will be able to provide global insight on Agon’s new theory?

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