Speaking in New York City on a Cosmetics Executive Women panel entitled, Fragrance: The Next Chapter, CEO Raymond Cloosterman, said that the company will grow its US presence to four stores soon. Currently, Rituals has two boutiques in New York City as well as counters in Barneys stores across the country.
New continent, new consumers
US consumers are distinct from the European ones that the company is familiar with. The privately owned Rituals has been in the states since only late last year.
Teasing a bit with the international audience gathered at the CEW event, Cloosterman explained that in the US shoppers buy products for themselves, then later as gift. Whereas in Europe, they buy gifts first. And then, if friends are happy with that gift, will get something for themselves.
Selling scent online
Citing the small size of the company’s brick-and-mortar stores, the CEO readily acknowledges that Rituals “will be looking at internet opportunities” for reaching consumers. Marketing perfume online sounds challenging.
But for fragrance brands that use online text and imagery well, stories that conjure places and emotions sell scented products as much as the aroma itself does.
The season for giving
When moderator Jenny B. Fine, editor of WWD Beauty, asked for an assessment of the holiday season, Cloosterman told the audience, “I hope we will grow 20%;” he went on to concede that “it's easy when you’re smaller.” And he’s optimistic about holiday sales in Europe this year too.
More stores across Europe
Each week Rituals is opening one or two sites in Europe, according to Cloosterman, who acknowledged that it took the company four years to go from one store to two. In the intervening time Rituals has established over 300 physical shops.