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Companies & industry

From trends analysis to full implementation of the concept: IL Cosmetics’ 360° approach

The Luxembourg company specialized in the production of nail polish and make-up products is stepping up its industrial development, by moving forward with its EUR 40 million investment plan for the 2013-2018 period. In Luxembourg, these investments consisted in modernizing the production tool for the bulk, nail polishes and make-up, and in the construction of a research centre. In Poland, the after investing two years ago, in the extension of a nail polish conditioning plant, built from ground up in seven months and giving the group a total conditioning capacity of 240 million units, the company has announced the start in production by the end of 2017 of a second, multi-product conditioning plant with the same production capacity. Both units will have the same GMP and quality standards as in Luxembourg. The aim is both to propose innovative ideas to customers and to accompany them throughout the conceptualization phase thanks to packaging and merchandising solutions, with a time-to-market approach and advanced industrial competitiveness.

Premium Beauty News - Obviously, you want to anticipate the rebound that seems to be shaping up in the nail polish industry.

Jean-François Harpes - That’s right! All indicators are gradually going green... As you know, the nail polish market is subject to regular cycles. The “boom”, which started with the current decade, gradually slowed down, but under the influence of a sharp come back of colour and with the new, more sophisticated, attractive and fun nail polish ranges, recovery seems to be around the corner. So we must be prepared to meet this demand. Our historical industrial site in Luxembourg was modernized and its capacity increased during the past three years. A new R & D centre was built. We also decided to further increase our filling capacity by doubling our Polish factory with the opening a new production site in Bulgaria. This site will also offer a oversized logistics platform. This new unit will be operational next year and will condition twice as much nail polish but also all other products in our make-up range, especially mascara and lipgloss.

Premium Beauty News - A market strategy that is consistent with this strong trend towards more full service?

Jean-François Harpes - Clearly, Full service is nothing less than a tidal wave. Full Service or Turnkey now represents 80% of our turnover, while 10 years ago it only accounted for 35-40%. It’s obviously the path to follow in the future.

The market today demands innovation and quality, timeliness and competitiveness. Moreover, and always at the request of Brands, subcontractors - we are part of - have become real product designers. We must be able to analyse cycles and trends, predict future best sellers, develop new products, control formulation and colours, to supply and sometimes develop in coordination with manufacturers innovative packs, to assist in the creation of the required displays, to condition and to take care of project management and logistics. All this in the shortest possible deadline and with a high-quality level. The concept of “time to market” is a key element for success. When you simply imagine that in many cases, delays are reduced to two months for products and concepts developed by us.

It is therefore necessary to implement important means in R&D (which we did!), have an efficient industrial process allowing us to quickly produce with an uncompromising level of quality with a very competitive cost offer. And in addition, our customers also ask us more and more to do the final packaging in presentation boxes, and even design for them the presentation displays.

Premium Beauty News - This is explained by the development of small and medium brands, of distributors and Internet brands?

Jean-François Harpes - Yes of course! These new players are looking for suppliers who have an overall ability to manage projects from A to Z. By directly relying on the subcontracting producer in full service, they reduce intermediaries and maximize their chance of success. These new customers submit us new projects every day. And this is of course one of the reasons why we decided to increase our capacity, because we also believe in a strong recovery of nail polish consumption in the coming months.

Interview by Jean-Yves Bourgeois


  • Jean-François Harpes, President, IL Cosmetics.
© 2017 - Premium Beauty News -
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