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Latin Beat: Belcorp Enters Argentina

Cristina Kroll
Ebel Paris inaugurated its first store in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The company is selling its beauty lines and offering specialized treatments.

“We are proud of opening the doors of our first point of sale in the country”, said Ricardo Teullet, former Ebel Paris Argentina general manager. “It is a sample of our expansion plans and solidifies our intentions of becoming one the most important beauty companies in the country,” he added.

In addition to the beauty lines, the company offers personalized treatments with high tech equipment in an atmosphere designed for customers to experience the total freedom of experimenting with each one of its products.

The new point of sale offers facial and body treatments, fragrances, makeup and personal care—the five categories of Ebel Paris. “In this way, the brand offers to women the ultimate of the European vanguard, bringing articles of well-known quality, manufactured with the highest technology,” assured Teullet.

With this initiative the company is carrying out the same strategy implemented in other Latin American countries. This is the case in Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela, where the firm already has installed points of sale.

Miguel Alvarez assumed the position of general director of Belcorp for Argentina and Chile Jan. 1, 2006. He replaced Teullet who became general manager of Belcorp Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.

New Global Look

Helena Rubinstein inaugurated its new stand design in Paseo Alcorta Shopping Center in Argentina. The work of prestigious interior architect Andree Putman, the stand is both modern and avant-garde. One of the distinctive characteristics of the 8.4-square-meter structure is the use of the LED lighting system. Putman defines it as “a construction game” where circular and square shapes are combined.

Helena Rubinstein makeup artist Sebastián Correa received his friends and fans of the brand, including local celebrities, at the opening.

Portfolio Expansion

The Brazilian Bright Star Group that arrived in Argentina in 2005 continues to add fragrance licenses that were formerly held by other companies. Since January 1, two new international brands—Issey Miyake and Jean Paul Gaultier of Beauté Prestige International (BPI)—were added to the company portfolio. Previously, these were in the hands of Spanish Puig Group.

“With these licenses, the firm consolidates in the Argentine market as one of the biggest players in the beauty business, with three of its brands positioned in the top 10 of most sold fragrances,” said Jorge Godoy, Bright Star Group Argentina commercial director.

“The incorporation of these exclusive brands to our portfolio is a clear reflection of the growth that we have experienced since our arrival in the country,” affirmed Godoy.

Bright Star Group arrived in Argentina as the distributor of Calvin Klein fragrances, a brand that until that moment was under the umbrella of the Argentine distributor Diffupar. A year later, the enterprise added Animale Parfums, Everlast, Chloé, Lagerfeld and Cerruti brands.

In Latin America, Bright Star Group operates in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, and employs more than 450 people. It is one of the largest players in the beauty business and has 60% of the Brazilian market share. “The development of the company’s business in the region is based on the strong relations established with multinational companies,” remarked Godoy.

Brazilian Purchase

The French group Pierre Fabre acquired 70% of Brazilian company Darrow Laboratorios, owned by the Duarte family, which had registered sales of $10 million in 2005. Although the company did not post the total amount of this operation, it announced that it will invest $25 million in Brazil within four years. According to the company, the acquired laboratory will permit it to consolidate the position of Pierre Fabre in Brazil and the southern region of Latin America. It also will allow Pierre Fabre to develop its own dermocosmetic products in this country and at the same time take advantage of the local industrial platform to export a percentage of its production. A Pierre Fabre spokeperson said, “For many years, Pierre Fabre has been looking for a Brazilian player that could also be an engine in its development in South America.”

By acquiring Darrow, which has a plant in Rio de Janeiro, Pierre Fabre increases its position in Brazil, the seventh largest dermocosmetic market worldwide. Pierre Fabre, the maker of beauty brands such as Avène, Ducray, A-Derma, Galénic, Klorane and René Furterer, has subsidiaries in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

Seeking Harmony

The National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Technology (ANMAT) launched a forum on the Internet with the objective of putting all the sanitary authorities in the region that regulate cosmetic topics in touch with each other. This initiative originated at the ninth gathering of Sanitary Authorities of the Americas in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, in June 2006. Present at the event were representatives from Brazil, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Uruguay, Cuba, Honduras, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia and the countries of the Andean Community. There is a proposal to harmonize the rules in the cosmetic area, such as the coordination of the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Super Luxury Battle

The Argentine distributor Caimexpro is enthusiastic about the growing perspective in the local market. The company distributes Sisley brand and has consolidated its position in front of other luxury brands. According to Esther Castrogiovanni, general director of Caimexpro, the strength that the brand has acquired is based on the way that the firm faced the difficulties brought on by the devaluation of the local currency in 2001.

Starting in 2007 the company plans almost 10 launches between treatment lines and makeup. At the same time, the firm had a remarkable introduction during 2006 when it presented Soir de Lune, its second female fragrance in 15 years. In 2007, the brand plans to disembark in new points-of-sale that include the big stores being opened in Argentina.

South American Reorganization

After Argentine general manager Agustín Trovatto left Puig, the Spanish group decided to rebuild its organization in southern Latin America. Now the responsibility of leading the Argentine branch is shared by Pedro Escudero, in charge of mass unit business, Cristóbal Flores, who conducts the prestige market of Chile and Argentina, and Miguel Mucci who manages the financial area. At the same time, it is important to say that Argentina now is part of the Latin South region formed by Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru.

In Argentina, the focus will be on the mass-market. In fact, according to Escudero, the target plan is to double sales in the next three years. In this context, the firm recently has launched Antonio Banderas fragrance, for a consumer who looks for a quality perfume at a lower price.

Emergent Countries Targeted

The German firm Beiersdorf has appointed Holger Welters to the newly created position of corporate president of brand development, charged with developing strategy for emerging countries. Argentina will report in an indirect way to this group, where Brazil, Mexico and Argentina will be the focus countries.

According to María Eugenia Peña, Beiersdorf Argentina marketing manager, “From this decision, the company will be able to develop specific products answering the real demand of the region, based on consumer insights.”

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