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Unilever Looks to Replicate Its Indian Retail Strategy

Priyanka Bhattacharya

According to recent reports, Unilever has undertaken a strategy to replicate the business model of its Indian division, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL), globally. Under this strategy, the company will target dollar stores in a number of markets to sell its sachet-packaged products, currently sold throughout India. According to market watchers such as AC Nielsen, the sale of shampoo sachets and detergent pouches are higher in India than larger packaged goods. The company agrees that this has encouraged it to begin selling through lower-priced outlets.

In addition to the retail strategy, India has also provided Unilever with a research base for its global skin care projects, notably skin lightening, and the company is, in fact, in the process of establishing innovation centers and R&D resources in Mumbai and Bangalore.

L’Oréal Names Indian Actress World Spokesperson

L’Oréal recently announced its latest batch of global spokespersons—which includes Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto, a surprising choice. She will represent the brand’s colors and skin care products, and joins a L’Oréal spokesperson group that includes Penélope Cruz, Jane Fonda, Beyoncé Knowles and Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss World and the company’s only other Indian representative. According to sources at L’Oréal, Pinto, also a model, was chosen because of her meteoric rise to stardom after playing the female lead in the Oscar-winning movie. The brand feels that the young actress represents the next generation of young women and their aspirations, of which L’Oréal wants to be a part.

Lancôme Opens Boutique in Mumbai

Lancôme wants to provide Indian consumers a different kind of experience when buying its products, opening a flagship store in Mumbai that will offer facial treatments as well as showcase products. The brand has designed the new boutique in shades of pink and white, reflecting elements of the brand identity and rose logo, and will offer its full line of products—including makeup, skin care, fragrance and a men’s range.

The brand has worked to differentiate the facial treatments by offering a range of options. The Lancôme Boutique houses Beauty Cocoon, a cabin in which specialized services are performed. Here the clients can get seven Signature Treatments especially designed for Indian consumers skin care needs. The treatments include express facials—ranging from Extreme Purity, Whitening Glow to Youth Activating and Anti Ageing treatments—with each personalized through the consultation of a Lancôme Diagnose Expert, a diagnostic device that helps assess the skin’s health. The treatment concludes with a flash makeup session. In addition, Lancôme will feature resident makeup experts to help consumers learn application methods.

Oral Care Potential Harkened by Rise in Dental Spas

Cosmetic dentistry is fast becoming one of India’s hottest makeover trends. Major Indian medical spas are wooing dental service providers and health care practitioners for cosmetic dentistry services, even making the bid for providers from other countries. A spokesperson at Delhi-based ConfiSmile, a dental spa, claims that dental tourism is an emerging trend, and that many tourists who come for med spa, or regular spa vacations also seek cosmetic dentistry treatments as a way to completely overhaul their appearance.

German Company Launches Entry-level Brand

In order to explore the opportunities in the Indian market, German makeup brand Art Deco has launched its entry-level makeup range Be-Yu here, targeted to young consumers. As part of the market test, the brand is retailing its mineral makeup, lipsticks, foundations, eye shadows, mascaras, eye liners and nail enamels in India’s larger cities. The target consumer is believed to be curious about makeup and willing to try something new.

French Brand Enters India’s Hair Treatment Market

French hair care brand René Furterer has partnered with distributor Modi Revlon to offer its specialized hair care products in India. Initial plans include the sale of hair thinning and hair loss treatments in Delhi- and Mumbai-based high-end salons. The company will begin retailing products in the second stage of its growth strategy.

Priyanka Bhattacharya is a writer and journalist covering the beauty, health and wellness industries in India. She is the contributing beauty features writer for several leading Indian women’s magazines.

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