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China Exodus?

February 7, 2014

CHINA: Suddenly, there’s a rush to the exit of what, until months ago, was considered the world’s fastest-growing consumer product market.  In the past several weeks, L’Oréal announced it was pulling its Garnier brand in China, and Revlon Inc. outlined plans to exit the country too.

L’Oréal introduced Garnier to China in 2006. Now, the company will focus on marketing the L’Oréal Paris and Maybelline brands there. The announcement is the latest indication of a slowdown in Chinese demand.

Garnier accounts for about 1% ($20.4 million) of L’Oréal’s Chinese sales. China is the third largest cosmetics market in the world, with nearly $26 billion in sales and is expected to grow 63% for the five years to 2015, according to Euromonitor International.

“We believe this will enable our consumer-products division to accelerate its conquest of the Chinese beauty market,” Paris-based L’Oréal said in a statement. “We are committed to ensure a smooth transition process will be put in place for our employees and associates.”

Revlon’s announcement came after Avon Products reported that its revenue plunged 67% in China in the third quarter.

Similarly, Procter & Gamble said it’s losing market share in China.

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