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“In 2022, the Clarins group is accelerating its growth”

Brand mergers and acquisitions, strengthening the makeup sector, nutrition, sustainability: the Clarins group is using many means to accelerate its growth, following the sale of its perfume division.

Cristina D’Agostino

By Cristina D’Agostino13 janvier 2022

The Clarins Group aims to acquire one or more cosmetics brands (DR)

At the end of 2021, Clarins met with a few members of the European press and some influencers in Paris, at the heart of the 16th arrondissement, to discover a new Clarins spa inaugurated earlier at the original five-star Brach hotel, frequented by a hip crowd. The opportunity to meet with Olivier Courtin-Clarins, managing director of the group and representative of the second generation of owners with his brother Christian Courtin-Clarins, Chairman of the surveillance committee. Virginie Courtin-Clarins, nominated a year ago as deputy CEO and head of CSR embodied that day the third generation including eight successors.

Olivier Courtin-Clarins, Managing Director of the Clarins Group and representative of the second generation of heirs with his brother Christian Courtin-Clarins (Fred Meylan)

The Clarins group founded by Jacques Courtin-Clarins in 1954, with a yearly turnover valued over 1.5 billion euros in 2020, recently closed its definitive sale of its perfumery division to the L’Oréal group (estimated at 800 million euros according to an article in Le Monde). The group still in the hands of the family is doing well. According to Olivier Courtin-Clarins, “an anti-aging Clarins product is sold every four seconds in the world.” The last Deloitte Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2021 report ranks the group 35th worldwide, gaining three places. Olivier Courtin-Clarins, in an exclusive interview given to Luxury Tribune, offers the group’s strategic focuses for the years to come.

You recently inaugurated a Clarins Spa at the 5-star Brach hotel, well-known in the capital. Do spas remain among the development pillars of the brand?

Yes, of course. It is a historic pillar since Clarins was first born in beauty institutes, in 1954. This is how we managed to better understand women and their needs. By being in contact with them, through our professional beauty protocols, we have always better improved our products. We will therefore continue to develop them.

Sustainability is one of your historic communication angles. Yet today, many brands are present in this field. How do you stand out? 

Clarins Double Eye Serum, a 96% natural anti-wrinkle and anti-dark circle serum (DR)

Even though we haven’t communicated massively about it, preserving plants is essential to us and we have very early on started working hand in hand with local farmers by establishing specific harvesting protocols and techniques which care for the environment. We quickly stopped products based on fresh animal cells, then testing on animals. Our history on this topic is old, supported by the family for 40 years. In all our conversations and with all our departments, we demand to consider sustainability at the heart of every decision, at HQ and in subsidiaries.

What are your priorities in terms of sustainability?

There are many. We are carbon neutral considering we compensate by planting trees. But we wish to pursue our efforts in parallel regarding reducing our CO2  production. We will also be plastic neutral, by buying recycled plastic and by pursuing our efforts in reducing its use. We collect plastics from our products as well as those of our competitors, in all our points of sale. And of course, we continue harvesting natural plants.  We are using 210 today.  The synthetical ingredients are replaced by natural ingredients, as are preservatives and silicones.  We aim to reach between 90 and 100% of natural ingredients. And as for organic farming, 50% of our plants are organic today and we want to increase this percentage to 80% by 2025, even though we do not claim to be an organic brand. We do it to protect the environment.

In 2018, Clarins created Domaine Clarins, in the heart of a preserved area in the Alps. This is where the brand grows some of the plants used to make its ingredients (DR)

What other impact is also measurable?

Fair trade holds an important role, and bringing facilities to locals, in terms of water supply, building schools and sanitary infrastructures. In Burkina Faso and in Madagascar where we harvest kalanchoe, which naturally produces hyaluronic acid, we have significantly improved the living conditions of the region’s inhabitants.

That is positive. The most delicate point is about the social disfunctions which can sometimes occur due to a change in local production imposed by a western company. Has there been mistakes on your end?

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