Despite global issues, Revlon pursuing growth in India.

Revlon, which first established itself in India with prominent standalone counters, exclusive kiosks, and shop-in-shop outlets in malls and markets, is experiencing "historic consumer offtake growth in these formats following Covid-induced interruptions.

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Despite global issues

Cosmetics maker Modi-Revlon will push for growth in India despite its US parent Revlon Inc filing for bankruptcy protection in the US due to mounting debt and supply chain constraints. Umesh Kumar Modi, chairman and president of Modi-Mundipharma Beauty Products Pvt Ltd, also known as Modi-Revlon, said the company is on “an aggressive growth path in India and leveraging all sales channels.”

In 1995, the Revlon cosmetics brand was introduced in India by a joint venture between the Umesh Modi Group and the Mundipharma Group of Switzerland, as well as Revlon of the United States.

“We are starting to play to the full potential of our portfolio and continue to expand exclusive brand outlets, presence in department stores and…mom-and-pop stores through distributors,” he said.

Revlon, which first established itself in India with prominent standalone counters, exclusive kiosks, and shop-in-shop outlets in malls and markets, is experiencing “historic consumer offtake growth in these formats following Covid-induced interruptions,” according to Modi.

However, executives from two retail chains told ET that the cosmetics giant has reduced its mall presence due to increased competition from new-age and worldwide brands.

In lipsticks, nail paints, and hair colour, Modi-Revlon competes not only with Lakme, Maybelline, and L’Oreal, but also with dozens of new-age online or D2C rivals including Nykaa, Sugar, and MyGlamm.

According to researchers, Revlon, which was famed for its vivid red lipsticks, failed to keep up with changing trends in the 1990s, when women preferred more muted tones. Global brands such as MAC Cosmetics, Estee Lauder, Clinique, and Bobbi Brown, on the other hand, have been extending their presence in India through standalone stores and marketplaces.

As customer behaviour shifts in favour of online shopping, Revlon is striving for growth on online channels. “Our online sales have grown from 5% three years ago to 18% of our total sales,” Modi said, adding that the cosmetics company is expanding its digital marketing and direct-to-consumer operations.

According to him, the company is beginning to expand into personal care areas such as hair, skin, and fragrances. The 90-year-old Revlon Inc had last week said it is struggling with supplier payments, inflation, and labour shortages. In a court filing, it also said supply chain disruptions had led to intense competition for ingredients it uses in its cosmetics, and that suppliers have asked to be paid for orders upfront. Disruptions led to “shortages of necessary ingredients across the company’s portfolio”, Revlon’s chief restructuring officer Robert Caruso said in the filing.

Modi declined to comment on allegations in the media that Reliance Industries NSE 0.20 % is considering buying Revlon Inc in the United States, and whether this would affect Modi’s Revlon relationship in India. He stated that the Modi-Mundipharma-Revlon cooperation is in its 27th year and is “lifelong.”

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