Sales: $3.3 billion
Key Personnel: Alain Wertheimer, chairman; Maureen Chiquet, global chief executive officer; Francoise Montenay, president; Peter Phillips, global creative director for Chanel Makeup.
Major Products: Skin care, cosmetics and fine fragrances.
New Products: Lumiéres Célestes Collection lipgloss, London Madness Collection (limited edition)
Comments: Luxury goods companies have taken a hit in this economy, but just how much of a blow is hard to tell with privately held firms like Chanel. Happi’s sources estimate the company’s cosmetics and fragrance sales for 2008 were $3.3 billion.
Last month, the company opened its first dedicated fragrance boutique in Selfridges, the London department store. The goal of the space is to offer shoppers the chance to experience the luxury brand’s entire perfume collection including those fragrances that had only been available in Chanel boutiques.
Audrey Tautou has joined the legendary league of women who have represented Chanel No 5 including Nicole Kidman, Ali McGraw, Carole Bouquet, Lauren Hutton and Catherine Deneuve.
But Chanel isn’t just about showcasing pretty faces—it takes its R&D seriously. At the end of 2008, Chanel and Dassault Systèmes, a leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, signed a strategic partnership. Their first joint project, which is based on the analysis of light, was co-developed by Chanel Research and Technology and the Dassault Systèmes Design Studio. The goal is to validate new hypotheses and concepts in the beauty sector using virtual software solutions. The project will be finalized in 2010, according to Dassault. Other opportunities are also being explored, with an emphasis on virtual simulation and modeling that will pave the way for innovative breakthroughs in skin biology and cosmetics.