As Cosmetics Europe announced that President of L’Oréal France, Loïc Armand, will take the reins as its President for the 2014 -2016 term, CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com was given an exclusive interview with the new boss - and his outlook is very positive.
Having begun his career in 1980 with the Inspection Générale des Finances, in the French Ministry of Finance, Armand joined L'Oréal in 1984, where he served in a number of positions around the world, working his way to the top of the Group’s French business.
Taking over from Fabio Franchina at Cosmetics Europe, Loïc says his position is favourable and the outlook is positive as he looks to build one voice for all the companies of differing size that make ub the member organisation.
“My view of the industry is incredibly positive because I think we can be proud of what we are doing. Some people say cosmetics business is a futile business - we don't need cosmetics,” he tells CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.
“In reality, the well-being of people is very important - if you look at yourself in the mirror and you feel good, it sets you up better for the day. It is incredibly important to feel comfortable with oneself.”
Calm, yet focused, as he assesses the challenges ahead, Armand explains that the cosmetics industry is just as important as many other industries as it delivers benefits to the consumer, which they understand: “we do not deliver hope in a jar.”
Indeed, it appears that the cosmetics industry has weathered the economic storm much better than many other industries in Europe, posting positive results and sitting in a strong position now.
“We can also be proud of what the European cosmetics industry is doing as it is leading the world in what it is doing,” Loïc adds.
“In the next 15-20 years 1.5 billion people in the world will reach the power-of-purchase level to enter the middle classes - we have an incredible opportunity to deliver to these emerging middle classes with the products they need - so it is a positive future.”
His attitude possesses all the character and forward-thinking that has helped the industry grow in difficult times as he explains the importance of building consumer trust and creating a competitive market to achieve growth, ensuring that products are not just sold once but continually.
“We need to reassure the consumer that we have a sustainable future that is competitive also,” he continues. “This is important as I would like us to keep Europe together. People always think of the futures of their children and this is only possible if we create a competitive environment and ensure the future of industry. For this we need Europe, and a dedication to development.
Speaking of the recent European elections and how this has introduced pressure on Europe, Armand says that if a split were to occur, it will not affect the cosmetics industry directly as regulations are well-established and everything follows the cosmetics directive.
“But we want to avoid things getting worse,” he adds. “This will depend on the evolution of the overall market. This is why politicians may have an impact on our industry - but not directly. I don't see any direct challenge right away to the cosmetics industry, but we have to be cautious.”