L’Oréal Luxe has led the way for luxury beauty in China since it first introduced Lancôme to Chinese consumers in 1993. Twenty years and ten luxury brands later (and soon 11 with the upcoming launch of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté), this foresight has paid off. Today, L’Oréal Luxe is the most dynamic of the major luxury cosmetics groups in China with a growth of 1.3 times the market.
To meet success in China, the division relies on the understanding of local needs. Thus, L’Oréal Luxe has been able to adapt its offering to the cultural habits, texture preferences and skin care routines of Chinese women and men, providing them with iconic, tailor-made premium products like Giorgio Armani’s Crema Nera Extrema and Helena Rubinstein’s Life Pearl Cellular. Chinese consumers’ penchant for ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine has also inspired L’Oréal’s formulations, as seen in the Énergie de Vie range by Lancôme which uses precious root extracts of rhodiola, gentian and wild yam.
This a deep understanding and insight of the Chinese consumer and the specificities of Chinese skin and hair are made possible by the Group’s long-term investment in Research and Innovation, creating research hubs all over the world, like the one in Pudong, Shanghai, to be ever closer to its consumers.
A diversified portfolio of luxury brands
The launch of new brands like Yves Saint Laurent on the Chinese market will further enhance the existing L’Oréal Luxe portfolio, allowing the group to meet the needs of Chinese women and men across age, economic and lifestyle categories.
Thus, Chinese luxury beauty shopper can choose from rich European heritage brands like Lancôme and Giorgio Armani, disruptive American brands like Kiehl’s and Clarisonic as well as Asian gems like Shu Uemura or Yue Sai - the local brand that is based on high-tech extraction methods of traditional Chinese medicine and emblematic of “invented in China, for China”.
Despite the anticipated slowdown of Chinese growth, L’Oréal still considers China as the main foremost growth driver for its luxury division.
“The most beautiful expression of L’Oréal Luxe brands is in China. Our brands have flourished and we have consistently outperformed the market growth for the past 10 years. Our desire and commitment is to continue investing in the development of the luxury beauty segment in China, growing our Luxe offering and leading the way in innovation and retail,” says Nicolas Hieronimus, President, L’Oréal Luxe.
China has, in turn, provided L’Oréal Luxe the opportunity to reinvent itself and redefine its brands to cater to the beauty needs of a new generation of Chinese consumers. “The exigencies of the market have challenged and inspired each of L’Oréal’s Luxe brands to constantly raise the bar in terms of product offerings, distribution, retail and service excellence as well as creative communications campaigns,” adds the company.
“Chinese consumers are at the heart of L’Oréal’s focus and energies,” details Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO, L’Oréal Group, said. “A potential 250 million new Chinese consumers will be using L’Oréal’s products in the next 10 to 15 years, making China the number one contributor to our ambition of winning 1 billion new consumers and to our strategy of universalization. A significant portion of these consumers will be recruited by our Luxe brands, the segment where L’Oréal has historically led the market and where it will continue to influence the shape of its future.”