Revamped Portuguese cosmetics brand Benamôr continues European expansion
Portuguese cosmetics brand Benamôr is off to a new start and is ready to land in France. In 2015, a group of three businessmen, including Frenchman Pierre Stark, acquired the Portuguese company Nally, owner of Benamôr. Stark has worked for 20 years for L'Oréal, first in France then in Portugal, where he was in charge of the group's luxury division. Last April, Stark set out to revamp the cosmetics label, well-known for its face cream, and began its international deployment.
Benamôr was launched in Portugal in 1925, and immediately became a hit in the country, at the time still rather inward-looking. As the cosmetics business globalised in the 1980s, Benamôr lost traction and was all but forgotten, though it never ceased marketing its face cream.
The brand's new owners are keen for this classic product to be rediscovered, and have refashioned it with a more contemporary feel. The original formulations are still used, though parabens have been removed from them, and the products are still hand-produced in Portugal.
The new Benamôr range includes the famous face cream, two hand creams and a soap, all available in four different fragrances. The Art Deco-style packaging for each of these lines is associated to a different colour, and the brand has embarked on an Instagram-based communications strategy.
Benamôr's relaunch focuses on breathing a more contemporary spirit into the brand. "We have maintained the [brand's] original spirit but we are giving it an upmarket image, even though prices remain affordable," said Stark.
In 2015, before Nally's acquisition, Benamôr's revenue was €300,000. Given the brand's new international development objectives, the forecast is to reach a revenue of €1 million within three years.
On the distribution side, the primary targets are concept stores and department stores. Benamôr is already distributed in Portugal (notably in the El Corte Inglés department store) and has recently landed in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, and its e-store will become operational in the first quarter of 2017.
In France, the brand will be initially available within Uncover, the new retail concept launched at Paris' SIL, the international lingerie trade show, where Benamôr will be featured together with a selection of underwear labels. Uncover will also operate an e-shop and a temporary store in Paris’ Galeries Lafayette department store in January and February. It will be the brand's first foray into France, where Pierre Stark's objective is to reach between 200 and 300 stores by the next two to three years.
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