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French dermo-cosmetic firm to launch more brands in China

By Wang Hongyi (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-03 08:16

French dermo-cosmetic firm to launch more brands in China

Eric Ducournau, CEO of Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetique. Provided to China Daily

French dermo-cosmetic giant Pierre Fabre has vowed to increase its presence in China by transforming itself into a multi-brand in the Chinese market.

"The Pierre Fabre Group has developed in a continuous, solid and powerful way in the dermo-cosmetic sector in China over 10 years. We have had to improve our performance continually, since the Chinese cosmetic consumers have become more and more well-informed and more and more high-demanding," said Eric Ducournau, CEO of Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetique.

Pierre Fabre introduced its brand Avne into China in 2004 and today one Avne Eau Thermal Spray is sold every four seconds in the country, according to the company.

"We are proud that Avne has been considered as the first dermo-cosmetic brand in China," Ducournau said.

China has become one of the company's three leading markets. After more than 10 years' development in China, Pierre Fabre has started to introduce more other brands to Chinese consumers, such as hair care brand Rene Furterer, introduced in 2014, and Klorane in 2015.

Ducournau said Avne helped the company construct a solid foundation for their future.

"To introduce a second brand into the market, the first brand must stand firm. That's why Rene Furterer was introduced in 2014. However, with this launch, we opened a new market area in China: the hair care segment. We are a leading hair care seller in the pharmacies in Europe. Klorane's launch corresponds naturally to the new needs of customers, which is different from Rene Furterer's premium market localization. Apparently, it seems that we have two close introductions, but in fact, we have prepared it all these years," he said.

"There is a real market demand. Nowadays, Chinese women are yet ready to spend money on hair care; however, the available brands are very limited, especially for the high-grade and natural products. Some consumers have to do shopping overseas. Rene Furterer meets this need; it brings premium and elegance to our customers. Klorane is designed for daily hair care for the whole family. What's more, both the two brands represent the Pierre Fabre DNA, that means they are all natural and results of many years of R&D efforts," Ducournau said.

He added that the three brands all have their own advantages, making them stand out in the market. Avne is the leading brand for sensitive skin in Europe, which is scientifically proven, according to the company. Rene Furterer is unique in the hair care sector thanks its use of essential oils. Klorane, with the help of the Klorane Institute, is unique in that it helps launch environmental programs.

Ducournau said the company is transforming into a multi-brand in China and the first move is to strengthen these three brands in the next few years.

"Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetic possess 10 brands, so we keep observing ready for the possibility to introduce more brands to the Chinese market. However, it will depend on the market and customer needs," he said.

Market competition in the dermo-cosmetics sector in China has intensified over the years.

According to the consulting firm Qianzhan Industry Research Institute, the total sales volume of the dermo-cosmetics sector in China will reach 85 billion yuan ($13.44 billion) by 2020.

Ducournau said that Pierre Fabre would expand prudently, in consideration of market demand and the number of sales outlets.

French dermo-cosmetic firm to launch more brands in China

"We will never forget what makes our soul: our products meet the needs of customers who want to take care of their skin and hair. We don't simply adopt the customers or use a hedonic strategy, but follow the problem-solving strategy that specifies 'dermo-cosmetic' which can distinguish cosmetics," he said.

Ducournau said the company would carefully time their steps to adapt to the changing environment, especially as China's economy is entering the "new normal" of moderate growth.

"We pay close attention to China's economic development, and the growth rhythm of China's economy," he said.

Pierre Fabre opened a flagship Avne store on Tmall in September, marking the company's entry into the nation's e-commerce world.

"Ultimately, we would like to maintain the special link between Chinese customers and Avne. Our expectation is that we could recreate the success for Rene Furterer and Klorane," Ducournau said.

wanghongyi@chinadaily.com.cn

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