Top Companies Report

16. Clarins

July 30, 2010

Sales: $1.4 billion (estimated)

Key Personnel:
Christian Courtin-Clarins, chairman; Philip Shearer, chief executive officer; Jonathan Zrihen, president and chief executive officer, Clarins USA and Canada

Major Products:
Skin care, fine fragrances, color cosmetics and sun care products

New Products:
Multi-Active Nuit skin care, Bright Plus HP Line and Intensive Brightening Smoothing Serum, Gentle Refiner exfoliating cream, Clarins Gentle Peeling Smooth Away cream, Multi-Active Skin Renewal Serum, Gentle Beauty Soap, Delectable Self-Tanning Mousse SPF 15, Everlasting Foundation SPF 15, Eau des Jardins fragrance, Thierry Mugler Womanity fragrance

Like most department store beauty brands, Clarins was hit hard by the recession. Happi estimates that Clarins 2009 sales dipped from $1.5 billion in 2008 to approximately $1.4 billion.
Fast Fact:
Clarins has been nominated for two QVC Customer Choice Beauty Awards. Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel and Clarins Defining Eye Lift received nods in the Best Faux Tanner and First On Q - Spa, Salon & Skin Care categories, respectively.
Winners will be announced on Aug. 28.

According to Kline & Co., in the U.S., the weak economy has forced department store share of the total market down another two points in 2009 versus 2003 levels, according to a new study. The decline has prompted both marketers and retailers to actively engage customers with purchase incentives, loyalty programs and even direct sales. Brands like Lancôme, Estée Lauder and Clarins have stepped up marketing directly to customers with online enticements like bonus gifts and free shipping with purchase.

“Savvy brands are employing a mix of complementary channels, including online sales, catalogs, and social networking to maximize their reach and target consumers in the format that’s most comfortable for them,” explained Karen Doskow, industry manager for consumer products research at Kline.

The economic slowdown hasn’t kept Clarins away from the perfumers’ bench, however. The company recently launched a fourth fragrance in its Eau de Soins series, Eau des Jardins. The “treatment scent” is a part of Clarins’ well-being initiative, as the perfume offers both aromatherapy and phytotherapy.

In collaboration with International Flavors & Fragrances, Clarins applied gemmotherapy—an herbal therapy using the extracts of plant buds or rootlets.

Eau des Jardins’ concoction is comprised of “extracts from buds of beech, black currant and mountain ash billed to help moisturize, soften and brighten skin.”

Eau de Jardins ($62, 100ml) is available in Europe and will officially launch in the U.S. this fall.

Back in May, Thierry Mugler launched his much anticipated Womanity fragrance, which is described to be both savory and sweet at the same time. The creation of the eau de parfum was “a challenge and a technological breakthrough,” according to Clarins Group.

The sweet and savory comes from fig and caviar. Molecular extraction of fig and caviar was performed exclusively by Mane for Thierry Mugler fragrances, marking the first time the patented extraction method has been used in a fragrance. The technology makes it possible to extract the aromatic molecules
of any material and to precisely reconstruct its olfactory
properties, thus obtaining ingredients that perfectly preserve and express each ingredient in all its subtlety and nuance, according to Clarins.

To promote the scent,—an interactive platform with a goal of building an extensive community among women—went live in June.

“Developing through this kind of interactive, collaborative space has long been a part of our brand DNA,” noted Joël Palix, president of Clarins Fragrance Group and the Thierry Mugler brand.