Lancaster off to ‘dream start’ in China with debut of flagship and ultra-premium line – Coty CEO

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Lancaster’s new flagship and its ultra-premium launch takes off with aplomb in China. [Lancaster]
Lancaster’s new flagship and its ultra-premium launch takes off with aplomb in China. [Lancaster]

Related tags China Coty Travel retail Luxury Skin care

American beauty major Coty is optimistic about Lancaster’s future in China as the launch of its new flagship and its ultra-premium Ligne Princiere line takes off with aplomb.

March was a busy month for Coty as it kicked off the launch of Lancaster’s Ligne Princiere. The ultra-premium range highlights the brand’s “heritage as the exclusive brand of the Monaco Princely Family, backed by patented and top-testing formulations,”​ said Coty CEO Sue Nabi

Coty also unveiled Lancaster’s first flagship store in Hangzhou, China, in partnership with one of China’s leading department store retailer INTIME in the same month.

Nabi said the firm would continue to open new doors in China’s “most luxurious locations”, ​while also launching online on platforms such as Tmall and Douyin.

“We started our skin care strategies in China a few weeks ago and I can tell you that we are very happy about the very, very early results we are seeing behind Lancaster,”​ Nabi said during Coty’s third quarter (Q3) earnings conference on May 9.

Lancaster is not a new brand to Chinese beauty consumers. The brand has been booming, especially in China’s travel retail market​, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The desirability of the Monegasque brand motivated the company to launch Ligne Princiere in China to tap into the significant potential in both the country and the category.

‘The Kelly cream’

Nabi said the launch of Ligne Princiere in China was “really starting exactly where we were dreaming to start.”

She elaborated on the brand’s early successes in creating buzz and excitement around the brand in China, with some consumers dubbing it ‘the Kelly cream’ on social media in reference to its connection to Princess Grace of Monaco.

“The Ligne Princiere line has reached the number one spot in social buzz across social media in China, a critical component in driving consumer awareness and trial. In fact, consumers are now calling it ‘the Kelly cream’ online. The conversion rate at our initial counters in the Chinese mainland and Hainan are currently in line to ahead of the leading beauty brands.”

She added that consumer feedback on the brand has been “overwhelmingly positive”​ in regard to packaging, scent, and texture, with an average product rating of 4.9 out of five thus far.

“We view these [key performance indicators] – social buzz, sales conversion, and product reviews – as the three most important metrics for any new skin care launch, and we will be closely focusing on these areas for each of our key skincare brands in the coming quarters.”

In Q3, Coty’s like-for-like sales rose 15% to USD1.29bn while reported operating income declined from USD57.1m to USD43.5m.

Sales for the first nine months of the fiscal year were up 10% to USD4.2bn while operating income increased from USD318.3m to USD414.7m.

In line with its results, Coty has raised its fiscal year outlook to grow 9% to 10%, up from its original outlook of 6% to 8%.

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