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India Quarterly: Estée Lauder Sets Up Shop In Mumbai

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: August 5, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
After introducing two of its leading brands (MAC Cosmetics and Clinique) to the Indian market in 2007, The Estée Lauder Companies has opened its first company-owned brand store in Mumbai. The company has ambitious Indian expansion plans in the country, with store openings scheduled for Bangalore (in August) and Delhi (two by October).

Sonia Michon-Floc’hlay, vice president and regional director, Estée Lauder, said that the company plans to be aggressive in expanding its business across the country, and will look at other potential markets—such as Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata. Further, she stated the company plans to have a presence in 20 locations within the next three years.

Keeping in mind the country’s price-conscious consumers, the company is redefining its retail strategy for India. For its department store customers, it will add lower priced, entry-level products while featuring and emphasizing customer service and higher-valued products in premium stores.

According to ASSOCHAM (Association of Chamber of Commerce), per-capita expenditure per year on international branded cosmetics products is just $0.68 in India, half that of China’s $1.50. However, the Indian cosmetic market, according to their numbers, is poised to grow from $950 million in 2008 to $1.4 billion during the next two years. The organized cosmetics market in India is growing at a healthy 25%, the ASSOCHAM study indicates.

In a further effort to cater to the Indian market, The Estée Lauder Companies has brought in India-specific colors and products (such as Double Wear liquid and powder foundation) developed specifically for Indian skin tones. Jewels of Summer—a color collection created by Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director—will also be heavily featured in the company’s India introductions.

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