Premium Beauty News - Beauty Success is the first global perfume brand to settle in West Africa. What made you decide to focus on this region for developing worldwide?
Stéphanie Chalard - We seized the opportunity we got when we met CFAO, the distribution leader in Africa: they were opening new shopping malls and were looking for beauty franchises with French brands and middle-range, affordable products. It appeared like the perfect union of two types of expertise, that of CFAO, with their deep knowledge of the region and logistics on the ground, and ours, since we are experts in selective perfumery and franchises.
Premium Beauty News - What was your strategy to enter this market?
Stéphanie Chalard - We relied on a very deep analysis of the competition and consumer expectations, but also of our partner brands. As for competition, there are a few small institutes, but products are mainly available other ways than via dedicated infrastructures. That is why the market is very exposed to counterfeiting. We are really the first global brand with which consumers can be sure of the products’ origin. And this meets the expectations of the booming middle class: they seek affordable premium products and are mainly interested in makeup and perfume.
Premium Beauty News - How did you adapt your offering?
Stéphanie Chalard - These very strong expectations for masstige products encouraged us to highlight our private label, which is actually very successful. The segments the most represented are perfumery, makeup, and haircare, with a mix of French, international, and ethnic brands.
Premium Beauty News - Can you already report on your results, even shortly after this opening?
Stéphanie Chalard - The first results are very satisfactory and reassuring. The average buying basket amounted to over €60 last December. We first thought it was due to the impact of novelty and Christmas and New Year celebrations, but it kept rising in January. We have different types of customers, both expatriates and locals. And there is a new category of consumers now, with women that were not used to visiting perfume shops. The beauty salon also works very well, although there is only one treatment room for now.
Premium Beauty News - What are your next plans?
Stéphanie Chalard - Our partnership with CFAO will last 10 years, and we plan to open about twenty points of sale in a certain number of countries in West Africa. Our next project should be implemented at the end of the year.
Premium Beauty News - What difficulties have you been facing?
Stéphanie Chalard - Logistics are very complex, so CFAO’s help and expertise is essential to us. Training and sales techniques are also tough to deal with.
Premium Beauty News - What are Abidjanese women’s favourite products?
Stéphanie Chalard - Lancôme, Dior and Givenchy are very successful with their perfumes and makeup products, and so is our private label.