According to the Group, global growth for L’Oreal’s luxury division stood at 8.3 per cent in 2012, outperforming the worldwide cosmetics sector at 6.3 per cent.
"The reason is our in-depth understanding of consumers and a portfolio of prestigious brands, most of which affirm their ‘Made in France’ attributes, synonymous with luxury around the world."
The success of 'Made in France' luxury product lines, L’Oreal says, is down to investing in intricate research resources in the country,designing and co-ordinating various brand launches and fine tuning its industrial expertise over numerous years.
"Our French production facilities employ 4,200 people, to which 1.3 billon units are produced and account for 26 per cent of the group’s total production."
According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group published in spring 2012, the personal luxury goods market in particular, including accessories, fashion, fragrances, watches and jewellery, will grow by 3 to 7 per cent by 2014.
In France, revenues from luxury goods are estimated at 31 billion euros for 2012, with 84 per cent from exports. These dynamics, L'Oreal says will undeniably mark the luxury industry as a pillar of the French economy.
Key to success is in combining image with quality
According to the Group, the challenge in producing a successful luxury portfolio, is to succeed in combining image with quality and a concern for detail with mass production. "The Lancôme fragrance “La Vie est Belle” illustrates this control: its pack alone required 5 phases for a launch production of 2.6 million units."
The cosmetic giant also reckons its must also satisfy the expectations of a demanding clientele looking for products that are consistently more precious and unique. "This segment is characterised by very limited series and may be comparable to hand craftsmanship; Armani’s “La Femme Cristal” fragrance, produced in 100 unique, engraved, numbered pieces, is a perfect example."
Each bottle, selling for 5000 euros, was produced by the Cristallerie Royale de Saint Louis which L'Oreal says; "truly demonstrates the extent of its talent; a hand-blown crystal droplet containing the perfume inserted into a hand-chiselled 10-faceted crystal shell crafted by the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France masters."