Premium Beauty News - Six years ago, as the President of the Intertrade Group, a rare perfume distributor, you decided to create the Avery Perfume Gallery concept, in a context where alternative perfumery was still a niche segment. Why?
Celso Fadelli - To me, it is very important to have a direct contact with the person that uses the product and buys the perfume. It gives an opportunity to understand much more. I used to walk a small pedestrian street near Piccadilly Street in London, Avery Row, every day, and there was this small flower shop. Unfortunately, when the crisis occurred, it had to close, so I took over the lease to open our first store. It was just natural to call it Avery.
The initial concept was to mark a break with traditional perfumery.
The idea was to put our juices right in the heart of the area and forget about secondary packaging, the usual marketing tools. The whole decoration was made of retrieved objects bought from the Portobello market. I did not want the atmosphere to be created by a traditional design agency.
Premium Beauty News - And obviously, people showed up.
Celso Fadelli - At the beginning, it was tough. No one came in, and those that did walk through the door did not understand the concept. And then, after a year and a half, it started to work well. Today, our turnover for this 20m2 store reaches 450,000 sterling pounds every year. Afterwards, we opened a second store in New Orleans, and the others followed in other cities and countries. If we count shops and corners in department stores, today we have about twenty points of sale all around the world, except in Asia.
Our idea to showcase our perfumes with no packaging, marketing or communication has been copied since then by many, in particular the Belle Parfumerie at Printemps Haussmann. Our customers do not care about the brand, they care about the quality of the juice, the story of the perfume: they get to know it in a completely different way, starting with the raw material.
Premium Beauty News - To you, how is the niche perfumery market evolving?
Celso Fadelli - Today, there is a high demand on many markets, so we have just opened stores in Morocco, Mexico, Colombia, at Harvey Nichols’s, Selfridges’s, etc. We have a lot of opportunities to develop, because people no longer see perfumery the same way. That is actually the reason why several multinationals have purchased niche brands.
Premium Beauty News - What about France?
Celso Fadelli - France is a difficult market, but that’s normal, it is as if we had decided to sell pasta to Italians. For most French people, perfume is still Christian Dior or Chanel, and it will remain this way for long, but things are changing. We can now feel a different craze, a real legitimacy for resellers to offer alternative perfumes. It is the same with the press, department stores, and independent perfume stores in French regions, which gradually increase their niche perfumery offerings when they notice an added value. For some of them, this segment can account for 60% of their turnover. The distribution network evolves according to the market demand. The fact that a department store like Printemps dedicated such an important part of their new space to alternative perfumery is an important signal.
Premium Beauty News - What is the key to Avery Perfume Gallery’s success?
Celso Fadelli - In each point of sale, we mix very different brands, because that is how we can gather as many consumers as possible. These really varied worlds intertwine harmoniously in the same space, and that is the key to Avery’s success: we know how to target different publics with young brands, more classic brands, or brands that will reach different sensitivities.
We also help people discover a style, an emotion, and corresponding brands. The emotional dimension is the best hope for survival for our stores. Distribution is going to change for concepts that nourish the experience more deeply.