NEWSWATCH - French luxury house Hermès, best known for its high-fashion handbags, has plans to expand its business into skincare and cosmetics in 2020, according to a report from Business of Fashion.
Hermès Birkin bag. Credit: Wen-Cheng Liu via Wikimedia
Products are being developed in-house but they will be manufactured by third-party suppliers, mainly in France and Italy. The collection will reportedly make use of plastic-free packaging.
Not entirely new to the beauty game, fragrances made up 5% of the company's overall sales in 2018. But now, Hermès is joining the likes of rivals Chanel and Dior who have both cemented their place in the luxury skincare and makeup business.
"Obviously, we hope to have the biggest scope possible. We are trying to do it humbly and cautiously, because it’s a big market that’s already full of strong players, and therefore we have to find our place in it,” Hermès chief executive Axel Dumas told Business of Fashion.
“It’s quite exciting: It’s a new activity, with all the risks that involves, so we will deploy it progressively, initially in our own stores mainly, in a limited distribution so that we can learn,” he continued.
To become a great global beauty brand, Hermès needs three axes, Dumas said: skincare, makeup and fragrance.
Luxury analyst Mario Ortelli weighed in saying that beauty is a great product category because it allows a low price point without diluting the brand perception. "It’s also a category in which you can recruit new customers, it creates digital engagement and permits to sustain additional communication investment which are beneficial for the overall brand equity of the maison,” Ortelli said.
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