Avon targets premium fragrance market with new partnership

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Avon

Leading direct selling leader Avon has partnered with French
fashion designer Christian Lacroix to produce two fragrances for
men and women in a bid to expand its presence in the premium
fragrance market.

The fragrances, Christian Lacroix Rouge, for women, and Christian Lacroix Noir, for men will be launched in the UK in September, with the female fragrance launching in the US in November and the male fragrance early next year. Its latest move into the premium fragrance sector, aided by the respected designer, will no doubt help reshape the company's image with the younger, more fashion conscious demographics, a sector that has until now not been a focus for the Avon image. Mirroring the intricate link between the colour cosmetics segment and the fashion industry, the partnership brings Avon up-to-date with the growing consumer desire for perfumes that are synonymous with quality and style. Created by leading fragrance manufacturer IFF, the scents have been designed to embody the glamour element of the fashion industry, both having rich floral and spicy tones, using ingredients such as cashmere woods, ginger and saffron. The lucrative fragrance partnership is designed to help the company, which has annual sales of £4.4bn (€6.44bn), reap the same results in its fine fragrance division as it has with its colour cosmetics in the UK, which are second in sales only to Boots No7 range. Indeed, the colour cosmetics range has also had a revamp, with a more sleek and styled packaging concept. With the introduction of young and vibrant TV present Louise Redknapp to front its summer campaign, it would seem the company is pulling out all the stops to target the younger consumer. Despite the concerted effort to pull in extra sales revenue, the company has been hit by slowing sales of late. However, it is beginning to reap the benefits of its Strategic Sourcing Initiative that was announced in the last quarter of 2005. The company has stated that the initiative is set to bring about savings of $400m (€305m) during the course of the next five years. Confirmation that the SSI is on course has led the company to believe that total savings from the restructuring programme should total $700m (€514m). Likewise it is anticipating similar savings from its Product Line Simplification strategy, which aims to move product offerings away from the micro-segmentation trend that appears to have confused many consumers.

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