The company’s drive to internationalize its business was underscored by its acquisition of The Body Shop, which was bought for £880m ($1.23bn) in June last year, a move that gave the business 3,200 retail locations worldwide.
But Natura executives also see the potential for the Natura brand to expand beyond Latin America, which is why the company announced the opening of its second retail outlet in the United States last month, located in Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey.
The store adds to the company’s flagship US retail outlet, in the main shopping area of Nolita, in Manhattan, New York City.
This is the first building blocks in Natura’s strategy to grow in the world’s second largest beauty market, and Cosmetics Design spoke exclusively to Roger Schmid, Natura & Co’s group advisor on global innovation and sustainability, to find out more.
Why is Natura targeting expansion in the North American market?
Natura is the largest Beauty company in Latin America, very well established for nearly 50 years. We believe that our values, linked to sustainability and relationships, are universal, and consequently we are looking now to expand internation
ally. The sensitivities of the Millennial consumer in the US, and globally, reflects the values we represent, making this internationalization effort even more pertinent.
What is the difference in the company’s positioning in North America, compared to Brazil?
In Brazil, Natura does not need to be showcased. Over the last 49 years we have been regularly recognized as one of the most admired companies, not only in beauty. Natura features every year in the top institutions when it comes to sustainability, innovation, best company to work for, etc. In the US and Canada, we are unknown. But through this pilot we want to better understand the consumer in this part of the world, and learn how to communicate our story in the best way.
Natura now has two retail outlets in the US, what are the goals for future expansion? Any plans for Canada or Mexico?
Natura is not an arrogant company. 2018 will be dedicated to learning more, studying how consumers react to our products and messages, fine-tuning. We are not in a rush. After this analysis and experience, we will be in a better position to decide how to further expand. We are already in Mexico, and Canada is not in our plans, as of yet.
Where would Natura like to be positioned in the US/North America in the next five or ten years?
Brazil is one of the largest beauty markets in the world, with its originality, rituals, and the challenge, particularly for Natura, is to help in the preservation of the Amazon, an area that covers 25% of the world’s bio-diversity. We believe that life is a chain of relationships, we believe in a concept of beauty without stereotypes, we want to present to the world our vision of beauty and the amazing ingredients we develop together with various communities in the Amazon. Consequently, we would like to gradually be recognized as a company that is trying hard to create a better world.
What are the strengths of the Natura brand in the North American market?
Our strength is our authenticity. We are very transparent, we don’t follow trends, we are always consistent in the ultimate purpose of creating what we call “bem-estar-bem”, a well-being that involves feeling comfortable with your body, embraced by your community, respectful of the planet. These behaviors have been in our DNA since the early days.
What are the challenges for a Brazilian beauty brand targeting expansion in North America?
The challenge is the fact that Brazil is a little bit of a mystery, not really well known by North Americans. It’s in this context that our stores want to be an invitation to discover the friendliness of Brazilians, the incredible natural richness and its diversity. We see ourselves as ambassadors, if you want, of a way of living beauty in a more spontaneous and natural way, the NaturaBrasil way.