L’Oréal Wants to Give Brazil a Makeover

TakeAway: Brazilian women are among the biggest spenders on beauty products anywhere, but L’Oréal isn’t raking in reales. 

Brazilian women have traditionally bought their skin creams and mascaras from door-to-door sales representatives, not the shops where L’Oréal sells its brands. 

To compensate, L’Oréal is introducing personal beauty advisers at department stores and trying to tailor its makeup to the consumer.

For example, foundation, a strong L’Oréal category world-wide, isn’t a big seller in Brazil because women find it increases the oiliness of their skin, so the company has been charged with creating a foundation from natural ingredients.  

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Excerpted from WSJ, “To L’Oréal, Brazil’s Women Need New Style of Shopping” , January 21, 2011

For L’Oréal, winning over Brazilian women is crucial if it is to meet its goal of adding one billion consumers—a doubling of its current clientele—over the next decade. L’Oréal currently makes about a third of its €17.5 billion ($23.36 billion) in yearly sales from emerging markets, and it wants to increase that to half by 2020.

Getting Brazilians to alter their buying habits won’t be easy. The two major players who use the door-to-door method claim roughly 50% of all color cosmetics sales and 42% of skin-care sales. Natura Cosméticos, the market leader in beauty and personal care, has one million salespeople across the country, and U.S. cosmetics company Avon has built up a larger market share in Brazil than L’Oréal thanks to its expertise in direct sales.

L’Oreal’s challenge also reflects the rising competition that global consumer-goods companies face from local rivals who understand the tastes and peculiarities of their home markets. Door-to-door vending is a longstanding custom in Brazil that has ushered millions of Brazilian women into the middle class. Some 2.5 million women, out of a total female work force of 42 million, earn a living from direct sales in Brazil.

Two years ago, L’Oréal was looking for new ways to grow as the financial crisis hit its core European and U.S. markets, and Brazil, the world’s third-largest cosmetics market after the U.S. and Japan, seemed an obvious target. While it had been in Brazil for 50 years, it had mainly focused on hair products.  Combined, makeup and skin care account for less than 15% of L’Oréal’s sales in Brazil, a paltry amount compared with the nearly 50% of sales the two categories provide the company world-wide.

For L’Oréal’s makeup offensive, it is focusing on department stores like Lojas Americanas, which is similar to Kmart in the U.S. The company is currently negotiating with the chain to expand its makeup walls country-wide. For skin care, it is targeting pharmacies and drugstores.

Edit by AMW

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One Response to “L’Oréal Wants to Give Brazil a Makeover”

  1. Tweets that mention L’Oréal Wants to Give Brazil a Makeover « The Homa Files -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dan DeLa Cruz, Dan DeLa Cruz. Dan DeLa Cruz said: L'Oréal Wants to Give Brazil a Makeover « The Homa Files http://bit.ly/hwOeVj […]

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