A winning return
The challenge was worth taking up. When in 2008, Anne Delleur, 32 and a former Marketing manager at L’Oréal, joins the Institute Caméane and the young team who acquired the Arcancil Paris brand in 2006, she already knows that she has in her hands the destiny of a little-known jewel.
Founded in 1935, Arcancil is one of the oldest French brands specialized in make-up. Over the years it had built itself a strong reputation, but a victim of the financial difficulties of the Laboratoires Valdor, its former owner, it disappeared from the shelves in 2005.
When Arcancil is back in perfumery outlets in the late 2007 it has to start from scratch again. "It’s the relationship with distributors that suffered the most," explained Delleur. "Even before the cessation of business of the the Laboratoires Valdor, successive stock-outs, a lack of timely supply had led to the delisting of the brand by its key customers in France."
In November 2007, the team of the Institute Caméane pulls off a coup with the launch of Kohl Kajal, a kohl in a stick presented in a matte black case and embellished with black satin ribbon. The product is immediately acclaimed epitomizing at the same time the brand’s rebirth. With Kohl Kajal, Arcancil Paris managed to create a new make-up gesture in line with a strong eye trend, very popular in France and abroad, that of smoky eyes. "Arcancil has always been a very much eye make-up-oriented brand, with a strong token of recognition in the segment. Therefore it’s quite naturally with this product category, and particularly with the kohl that we proceeded to the relaunch of the brand."
Another one of Arcancil Paris strong point is the use of high intensity pigments. An obvious choice for the Cabaret range, that offers eight perfectly coordinated harmonies , with shades that do not fade, even on eyelashes and darker skin tones. "That’s probably why this range is also so popular among black and mestizo customers", explained Delleur. "We are launching new shades to suit all women whatever their skin complexion and also taking account of skin and climate specificities, in order to innovate with make-up formulas necessarily meeting specific needs. With its covering power, our foundation, Matitude, enables to perfectly unify the skin complexion even under extreme heat and humidity conditions."
The potential of these ranges of shades designed to meet the most diverse expectations is all the more important since Arcancil Paris has a high quality image at an affordable price.
In parallel with these innovations, Arcancil has kept offering historic products that have helped built the brand’s success: Compact Mascara, bottled eyeliner, as well as all the customers favourite shades.
For Arcancil it is a winning return. "Since the relaunch of the brand we have never reported any loss. For the three past years, our growth rate has always exceeded 30%. On the last half of the year we are still on a 35% trend." This success, the brand also owes it to the loyalty of its customers and its awareness.
To recover distributors confidence
The priority for Anne Delleur is now to consolidate the distribution network in France and abroad.
Today, the Arcancil Paris products are distributed exclusively in France at the Galeries Lafayette and through the outlets that had backed up the brand’s come back on the market. Among them, the Institut Inaya, the specialist in ethnic products from Saint-Denis.
"Our partnership with Galeries Lafayette is very satisfying and allows us to be present in 70 stores, and we also sell on the Internet. But our objective in the end, is to find a partnership that would allow us to be present in cities of less than 100,000 inhabitants. Our objective is to regain Arcancil’s previous level of distribution which was of 500 to 1000 outlets."
An ambitious goal, but up to the expectations of the brand’s potential that currently ranks fourth in Galeries Lafayette sales. An ambition also driven by a real presence on the ground and the ability to meet the expectations of distributors. "Our success is also due to our ability to provide an optimized inventory management of the brand to the outlets. To control appropriately the supply chain also means guaranteeing faultless inventory management in each of the brand’s point of sales and a perfect quality of service for customers."
The ambition is the same overseas, representing approximately 65% of sales. The brand is already present in twenty countries where it often enjoys very strong awareness, especially in South America, North Africa, the Middle East, and of course Europe. The Arcancil Paris brand is no longer distributed in Asia, but its participation, early November 2010, to Cosmoprof Asia in Hong Kong has helped establish very promissing contacts in the three countries where the brand was operating before, namely Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea.
In Brazil, Arcancil Paris is distributed in a dozen cities with the help an commercial agent. In this country as in other countries, the brand did not hesitate to develop specific ranges, suiting skin complexions and specific consumer needs.
"Knowing how to meet the exact needs of customers is one of our key assets," emphasised Delleur. "In Europe, for example, most women are looking for a natural make-up result, which led to the success of the Nude. This is fare from being the case in many countries in the Middle East where bright colours and covering textures are in great demand. We must therefore adapt ourselves and we can afford to, because we are make-up experts."
The market of younger women
Paradoxically, this gave Arcancil Paris a chance to emerge reinforced from this period. The relaunch of the brand to new distributors also involved the obligation to attract new consumers. "We focused our efforts on recruiting young consumers of 30 to 45 years of age who had an knowledge of the brand through their mothers."Again, eye make-up products (eyeliners, mascara,...) were at the heart of the reconquest strategy. They were updated for this target and Kohl Kajal was the brand driver.
But the demand, from former customers always loyal to the brand, has remained strong. It is the distance selling activity implemented to meet there demand that made it possible to maintain a link with those of our customers who no longer could rely on a distributor. These are precisely the customers that Arcancil now wants to win back.