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According to reports from Reuters and The Wall Street Journal, L’Oréal is pulling its Garnier brand from shelves in China, as the hair, body and skin care brand has been slow to catch on there. A L'Oréal spokeswoman told Reuters that the company will instead focus on its two leading brands in China, L'Oréal Paris and Maybelline, the country's number-one selling beauty range and makeup line, respectively.
The Wall Street Journal article, written by Nadya Masidlover and Laurie Burkitt, notes that the move comes somewhat as a surprise, although Revlon also pulled its brands from Chinese beauty shelves at the very end of 2013. Masidlover and Burkitt write, “…industry experts say that brands are running up against major competition in the country, where the Internet has redrawn the cosmetic and personal care market, giving smaller and niche brands greater access to China's 1.34 billion consumers.”
L’Oréal, which has a corporate goal of gaining one billion new customers by 2020, has heavily targeted emerging markets like China for growth. However, it seems to be the positioning of Garnier in the Chinese market as a lower end mass brand that led to its lower sales and this move.