Gone are the days when a trip abroad meant friends and relatives piling you with their list of luxury cosmetics that they needed. Today most of the international luxury bath and body brands have made their way to India. They are readily available at malls in major cities making sure that you no longer are burdened with a last-minute stop at duty-free stores to get your annual stash of cosmetic goodies.
If 2017 saw the British fragrance house, Jo Malone, making a stunning debut in India with the launch of its Mumbai store, June this year witnessed Bath & Body Works—one of the world’s leading specialty retailers of fragrant products for the body, hands, and home—come to woo consumers by opening its stores in India. Its first store is a sprawling 1,300 sq ft space at the Select CityWalk in the Capital while the second one at DLF Mall of India, Noida, is approximately 1,500 sq ft. It will be followed by soon-to-be-inaugurated two others at Ambience Mall in Gurugram and DLF Promenade in New Delhi, offering an exciting and new experiential environment for customers to explore an extensive array of fashion fragrances.
Launched in 1990, the Bath & Body Works portfolio today comprises over 200 different private label scents, including the iconic Sweet Pea and Japanese Cherry Blossom, award-winning A Thousand Wishes and soothing Eucalyptus Spearmint as well as seasonal new releases, apart from an extensive collections for body lotion and body cream, body wash, hand soap and fine fragrance mist.
Tushar Ved, president, Major Brands India Pvt Ltd that has been instrumental in bringing Bath & Body Works in India, says, “We are excited to present hallmarks of Bath & Body Works to India: Signature Collection Body Care, Bath & Body Works and White Barn Home Fragrance, Bath & Body Works Hand Soap, Sanitisers and Aromatherapy. At Bath & Body Works, customers are invited to sample luxurious lotions, hand soaps, fragrances and more to discover their favourites. Customers are sure to find the fragrances that suit them best and are most likely to be met with surprise and delight.”
The natural beauty range from France, L’Occitane en Provence, which opened its first store at Khan Market in the Capital way back in 2009, today sells its range of fragrances for men, women and home, hair care, skin care, body care, and products for men at 14 outlets across the country. It will be inaugurating its 15th outlet in Kolkata later this month.
These international luxury bath and body brands are cashing in on the growing demand for premium personal care products. The rising consumer awareness for such products is riding high on the ever-increasing disposable incomes that is leading to changes in consumption patterns and lifestyles.
Giving a rundown of the market, Ved says, “The size of India’s beauty, cosmetic and grooming market is expected to reach $20 billion by 2025 from the current $6.5 billion. A rising aspiration among Indians to look better, groomed to feel good has led to this market’s rapid growth of more than 42 percent in the last five years.”
Offering a sneak peek into the French brand’s journey in India, Simi Dewan, deputy general manager, L’Occitane India Pvt Ltd, says, “Our journey has been pretty fruitful with a lot of insights. We have seen the Indian beauty market grow. In all these years, the consumer’s needs have evolved, and they are far more conscious and aware of the kind of product they want to use. The market still has potential.”
Ved adds, “There is a shift in the entire beauty, wellness and essential care market. The customers research well on the products and find the best that can fulfil their requirement. So one has to understand the customer accordingly and present the right product mix.”
Enthused about the French brand’s recently launched Aqua Reotier Range—cleanser, gel, mist, Dewan explains, “We are a sensorial brand, and our products are made from natural products and essential oils. We are conscious of the ingredients we use and the way they are sourced. It is a complete package. We have a wide range in skin care, body care and hair care, and fragrances, and each range has its unique aspect. Over the years, the most-loved products are Immortelle Divine Youth Oil in skin care and Almond Shower Oil in body care.”
But innovation is the key to survival. In a befitting tribute to two of the most adored blooms, jasmine and marigold, Jo Malone London had earlier launched its first India-inspired fragrance Jasmine Sambac & Marigold Cologne Intense to commemorate its first anniversary in India earlier this year. “India is a dynamic market. It is diverse. The brand strategy and product portfolio have to be customised accordingly,” quips Dewan, adding that lack of suitable retail space is the biggest challenge.