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Latin Beat: Victoria´s Secret Beauty Launches in Argentina

Cristina Kroll

Limited Brands has introduced Victoria’s Secret Beauty cosmetic line in Argentina. Through an agreement with distributor Interbaires, the products are sold exclusively in duty-free shops in Buenos Aires airports. “We began retailing the brand in the International Airport of Ezeiza in February 2009 and arrived in the Jorge Newbery Airport in March,” Mariaé Caballero, marketing manager of Victoria’s Secret Beauty, told GCI magazine. “After a study of these [retail channels], we realized our brand had a great opportunity in this market, due to the accessible prices of our products.”

According to Caballero—who also handles the brand in Mexico, Brazil, and the Caribbean and Asian markets—“is likely that the brand will expand its portfolio in Argentina.” The brand, already available in Brazil and Mexico, is also scheduled for launch in the Uruguayan market.

Mexican Genomma Lab to Open Brazilian Subsidiary

Genomma Lab Internacional, a Mexican over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and personal care products company, will launch in Brazil in August 2009 as part of its Latin American expansion plan. The company opened its Argentine branch in 2007—and, according to Máximo Juda, president of the company in Argentina and Brazil, these moves are part of an international strategy.

“In 2009, the company began making monthly introductions in Argentina, which is a huge challenge in a competitive local market,” said Juda. Globally, the company operates in more than 30 countries—including Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Spain, China and India. Its portfolio includes more than 90 products across 33 brand lines—including cleansing line Asepxia, body care line Goicoechea and the Silk exfoliating line.

Farmacity Expands in Argentina

Farmacity, Argentina’s largest pharmacy/perfumery retailer, acquired Mitre and Del Águila—two traditional pharmacy chains based in the country’s Mendoza province, in March. With the acquisition, Farmacity will control 15% of the pharmaceutical market in Mendoza.

Through this move, the company added 23 points of sale to the 110 that it operates in the Buenos Aires, Córdoba, San Luis, Entre Ríos, Misiones, Chaco and Salta provinces.

“The company will invest $11 million to improve the infrastructure and the services of these doors,” Guillermo Bustos, president of Farmacity, told GCI magazine.

Peruvian Alicorp Announces Expansion Plans

Peru-based Alicorp, which had purchased the Argentine company The Value Brand in 2008, announced plans to continue acquiring companies in Latin America. During a press conference held in Buenos Aires in March, Leslie Pierce, Alicorp’s general manager, told journalists that the company expects global sales of $2 billion by 2015. Alicorp, which is part of the Peruvian Romero Group, posted global sales of $1.2 billion in 2008.

During the conference, Pierce also officially announced the change of The Value Brand name to Alicorp. In Argentina, the firm markets both personal and home care products—including beauty brand Plusbelle, which, according to a 2007 Nielsen report, held more than a 25% share of the hair care market in Argentina. In fact, the report notes that Argentina is one of Latin America’s major consumers of shampoo, and, according to the report quoted by Pierce, the country posted consumption of 1.45 liters of shampoo per capita—just behind Mexico and Brazil.

Lancôme Promotes Product in Buenos Aires

Lancôme created a promotional program in Buenos Aires in which consumers who purchased the Lotus Splendor duet of shadows and lip gloss, part of the brand’s new autumn/winter collection Ônyx Splendor, received two tickets for the premier of the film Confessions of a Shopaholic. The movie was chosen for its retail and fashion themes.

Men’s Line Expands

The Argentine beauty brand Barbian, founded in 2007, will launch in Uruguay and Peru sometime in mid-2009. “We are working to reach other Latin American markets this year,” said Diego Botana, founding partner of Barbian. The company has had a presence in the Polish market since 2008, and its products are already found in 50 perfumeries and pharmacies in Argentina.

“Barbian’s star creation is a differential product that reduces shave frequency, and it functions as an aftershave,” said Botana. In addition, Barbian also offers a wrinkle and eye ring corrector, a moisturizer and regenerator, and “anti-pale” creams. The brand targets white collar, middle class men, ages 30–60.

Before founding the brand, Botana created direct sales beauty companies Geneva and Midori.

New Argentinean Ambassador for L’Oréal Paris

Actress Isabel Macedo was chosen as the new Argentinean ambassador for L’Oréal Paris’ Excellence Créme, a hair dye product. According to Ignacio Cortina Guerineau, brand manager of color for L’Oréal Paris, “Macedo’s talent, beauty and sensibility make her the ideal spokeswoman. She personifies the values of L’Oréal Paris, and reunites concepts of working women and femininity.”

Cristina Kroll is a business journalist specializing in the beauty sector and living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has written for the main Argentine magazines related to the beauty business, and was a correspondent for French magazine Beauty Business News.

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