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Faces Cosmetics sets sights on Indian market

By Charlotte Eyre , 12-Jun-2007

Aiming to tap into India's booming cosmetics and personal products market, Canadian firm Faces Cosmetics plans to set up a series of stores across the country.

The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with an Indian personal care products manufacturer, and it expects to conclude the terms of investment by the end of the month, a company report states. Faces Cosmetics did not reveal the name of the partner. Initially, Faces Cosmetics expects to open company-owned stores, soon followed by an aggressive rollout of franchised stores. These will sell a range of cosmetic, skin care and anti-aging products, the report stated. A recent statement from the company's chairman and chief executive, Ramesh Jolly, said that as India is the fourth largest and second fastest growing major economy in the world, it is therefore "a key market for Faces Cosmetics future expansions plans". Faces Cosmetics produces color cosmetics and anti-aging products that are targeted at women of varying skin tones and ethnicity, as well as at a range of age groups, from teenagers to more mature women. The company's product portfolio also includes aesthetic treatments such as facials, manicures and waxing. It mainly operates a franchise model, where their different product categories are sold through 56 retail outlets in the US, Ireland, Canada and Mexico. In January 2007, the group announced the sale of a master franchise in the Middle East, covering the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Yemen. It also plans to open franchises in Eastern Europe, starting with a store in Prishtina, Kosovo. India, along with China, is one of Asia's largest cosmetics markets, and has had growth of about 60 percent since the late 1990s, a recent Euromonitor report states. Euromonitor experts believe that the country's current low per capita spending on personal products offers impressive growth opportunities, as Indian men and women become more interested in personal care and grooming products. Several cosmetic and personal product companies have recently harnessed this growing consumer-spending power, and multi-national companies such as Estee Lauder, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive have all invested in the country.

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