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5 Sep

Hungry for Beauty, Fragrance Marks & Spencer Taps Floral

LONDON — September is shaping as much as be a landmark month for Marks & Spencer, which is returning to the elite FTSE 100 index of the London Stock Exchange on the back of sales and profit growth, and investing further in its beauty business.

Third-party brands are proving to be big money-spinners for the division and now represent 42 percent of total sales at M&S Beauty.

The shop said it has been seeing a big crossover between clothing, home and wonder customers, and next month it’ll begin stocking greater than 30 Estée Lauder fragrances in-store and online. This week the retailer launched Floral Street, the indie fragrance brand owned and run by Michelle Feeney, a former Estée Lauder Cos. executive.

Although Floral Street sells at retailers including Space NK within the U.K.; Mecca in Australia, and Sephora within the U.S., Feeney believes that distribution through M&S will supercharge her brand and take it to a recent, national audience.

Floral Street’s Arizona Bloom fragrance.

Floral Street is being distributed through 19 M&S stores, and online. The fragrances include the brand’s bestselling Wonderland Peony, and its latest launch, Sweet Almond Blossom, which was made in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Two years ago, Floral Street became the primary fragrance partner of the Van Gogh Museum with a scent called Sunflower Pop, inspired by the artist’s “Sunflowers, 1889” painting.

On the time, Feeney had inked a four-year deal across fragrance and scented home products inspired by the work of Van Gogh. Her aim was get audiences all over the world talking about “high quality art and high quality fragrance” in the identical breath.

In an interview, Feeney argued that Floral Street and M&S make a great pair; they’ve an identical democratic spirit, cross-generational appeal and accessible price points.

A 50ml bottle of Floral Street fragrance costs 68 kilos, while a 10ml one is priced at 28 kilos. The invention set, which costs 18 kilos and features eight 2ml sprays, launched last week on M&S online and Feeney said it’s already a bestseller.

The fragrance can even be added to the M&S Summer Beauty Bag in 2024 with 200,000 samples.

“I really like Space NK, and we’ve had essentially the most successful first 12 months with them, but when you ought to be a giant British brand,” Marks & Spencer is the place to be, said Feeney, adding that her first job was as a Saturday employee on the M&S in Solihull, within the West Midlands of England.

“They’re right across the country — more British consumers see your brand — and the shop speaks to quality, value and trust,” she added.

Feeney said the dynamics of masstige beauty consumption within the U.K. shifted once Debenhams, a national store chain with a sturdy beauty offer and loyalty program, collapsed in late 2020. Boohoo later purchased among the assets, however the 150 stores shut.

“I’m very enthusiastic about what Marks & Spencer has done to be a contemporary distribution channel within the U.K. They’ve pivoted to larger store formats, grown their food offering, and created the Sparks [loyalty] card which allows them to succeed in so many consumers. With Debenhams going out of the marketplace, where do people go for beauty?” she said.

M&S can even be stocking the house fragrance collections, which include plant-based scented candles which are hand-poured within the U.K. and made with natural, paraffin free wax and clean burning unbleached cotton and linen thread wicks.

Feeney noted that M&S wasn’t an element of her brand’s original rollout plan, however it was a chance she couldn’t turn down. Feeney said she’s hoping that M&S becomes Floral Street’s biggest U.K. retailer, and he or she’s expecting the shop to generate 20 percent of Floral Street’s U.K. business in the primary 12 months.

She said the wonder team members at M&S “look and listen. They know their customers. They’ve [transformed] food and fashion and now they wish to go after beauty in a much bigger way, and I also wish to be also a part of other people’s successes,” Feeney said.

She built Floral Street as a sustainable brand, and believes its values dovetail with those of Marks & Spencer.

From the beginning she has used vegan, cruelty-free ingredients and packaged her scents in pulp boxes so green they will double as seed trays before biodegrading. There isn’t a excess packaging — akin to cellophane wrap — while each refillable glass bottle showcases an original flower mural.

Floral Street is sold in greater than 22 countries, and has retail sales of around 15 million kilos equally divided between the U.K., North America and Australia. Home fragrance represents around 20 percent of the business, and the plan is to expand into bath and body.

Feeney said that, depending in the marketplace, sales are in double- or triple-digit growth. She’s headed to the U.S. later this month to provide some face time to QVC, one in all Floral Street’s biggest distribution channels out there.

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