Simply a few objects I wished to let about immediately, primarily the sale of Cult Magnificence to The Hut Group. It’s been offered for £275 million. On the one hand, nice information from a house grown model that’s being saved dwelling grown and never being handed to enterprise capitalists. Cult’s regular development got here from recognizing a spot within the web magnificence market very early doorways and sticking with their convictions, altering with the occasions and being sizzling on predicting new model success. What’s not so good is the way in which the The Hut Group is beginning to dominate the sweetness market within the UK. Slowly however absolutely, they’ve snapped up as many out there e-commerce websites as they’ll (HQHair, Mankind, Beautyexpert, Lookfantastic, Skinstore and now Cult) they personal Perricone MK, Glossybox, ESPA, Illamasqua, Develop Beautiful, Ameliorate, Christophe Robin and extra.
Nevertheless, owned manufacturers aren’t the complete image. The Hut Group acquired producer and formulator enterprise Acheson & Acheson a few years again and extra lately have acquired a USA manufacturing website which places them in prime place to formulate not just for their very own manufacturers however for different magnificence manufacturers, too (in actual fact, they already do). And that’s not all – the Hut Group additionally platform hosts beneath the TGH Ingenuity programme for manufacturers similar to Elemis, PZ Cussons, Burt’s Bees, Revolution and By Terry (to call a couple of). Ingenuity is an e-commerce platform and fulfilment service utilizing information and learnings from THG manufacturers.
What that could mean longer term for beauty consumers is a similar effect to the L’Oreal trickle down where new formulas begin with premium brands and very similar formulas (if not the same) based on the original find their way into high street brands. Which is great, if you’re aware of that and not great if you just paid £50 for something that you later find for £10 with only a whisper of difference between the two formulations. So, that’s one thing. The next is a very similar approach across the e-commerce sites – hard marketing and a disappearance of brand personalities. When THG buys a new brand, they invariably take the PR and marketing in-house which leads to a very themed approach to consumer outreach. When everything, from start to finish, is held in one place with the same marketing ethos, the opportunity for individuality disappears. In fact, the PR concept almost doesn’t exist because marketing is what they know. It will only be in the longer term that we will see whether these far reaching tentacles that lengthen so deeply into the UK beauty market affect pricing – which may well be positive – because when you control so much from start to finish, the world is pretty much your oyster. I don’t know what it means for small brands trying to make their way in beauty world but I am not sure it makes things any easier (although, like other big beauty businesses, they may well have an incubator programme).
What I like about this deal is that it IS time we stopped being dominated by the big three – L’Oreal, LVMH and ELC – but I have concerns nonetheless that the shape of our beauty landscape will be entirely formed by one company.
In other less dramatic, but still intriguing news, is the sale of Emma Hardie to Creightons. Creightons builds own brands for the high street and supermarket such as No More Frizz and Argan Body that are similar to existing popular brands without the price tag. So, Emma Hardie is a big departure for them – it’s a wonderful brand, knocked into commercial shape by Robert and Jane Foulston. Emma Hardie has its roots in self-care and self-healing so they’ll need to take care to hold its personality and address their existing audience instead of trying to throw it immediately in a new direction. I’m curious to see what happens!
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.