Premium Beauty News - You purchased Granado in 1994, as the historic brand was in need of modernization. Twenty years later, it embodies – again – the dynamism of Brazilian cosmetics with many points of sale and the beginnings of its global development.
Christopher Freeman - Granado is the oldest cosmetics brand in Brazil. Mr Granado, the founder’s grandson, sold it as they were facing difficulties. We repositioned it based on its beautiful heritage associated with its apothecary origins. The first wholly-owned store opened ten years ago, and there are now 62 of them all over the country. We are also present in a concept store in Portugal, in France, and more widely in Europe, through the on and offline Sephora network, where our products have been available for a few weeks.
Premium Beauty News - Is France Granado’s other favourite country?
Sissi Freeman - It is, the brand has received a warm welcome there. We arrived in France thanks to the Bon Marché department store five years ago. Our products very quickly found their public, which encouraged us to open a store on Bonaparte Street. We have been considering the opportunity of opening a second point of sale in the Marais quarter, where we are actually represented from May 25 to June 17 in the Paris de Janeiro pop-up store. And we also have an e-shop.
Premium Beauty News - Are you considering developing in other countries or continents?
Christopher Freeman - It is important to do this step by step. The fact that we recently got access to the Sephora network helps us be present in 230 points of sale in Europe. We are going to open a wholly-owned store in Lisbon, and then maybe in England or Germany, why not?
Premium Beauty News - Today, you are putting Phebo forward by opening three stores in Brazil by August.
Sissi Freeman - We wanted to give this brand more space, because it does not get as much as it deserves in Granado stores. Phebo is a brand from Belém known of all Brazilians for several generations for its soaps and fragrances. It really embodies Brazil, and that is what customers will find in store, with a modern decoration focused on local ingredients and materials like wood and plants in a very colourful setting. The experience is different from Granado’s pharmaceutical culture. Phebo stores will highlight ingredients and customization. For example, customers will be able to have their perfume bottles engraved in store. The first Perfumaria Phebo will open in June in the Leblon quarter of Rio, and then another will be inaugurated in July in Curitiba, and a third in August in São Paulo.
Premium Beauty News - What has changed since the Puig group acquired shares in the company in 2016?
Christopher Freeman - The support Puig provided is a precious help for us, with new technologies, in particular in the field of perfumery. It also helps us strengthen our investments. It is a family group, we work with the same spirit. It was a very good decision.
Premium Beauty News - Are all Granado/Phebo products made in Brazil?
Christopher Freeman - We make almost everything – formulas, packaging, and finished products - in our brand new plant located one hour from Rio, and for which we have just invested 150 million reais. Only makeup products and specific packaging are outsourced.
Premium Beauty News - How is the market doing given the economic and political situation in Brazil?
Christopher Freeman - The cosmetics market maintained itself during the crisis, and it started growing again in 2017. As regards Granado, we have always done much better than the market. Our sales rose by 15% in the first quarter, compared to 2017. But for now, the overall situation is still unclear and should remain so until 2019.