Italian cosmetics brand Kiko has applied the concept of ‘fast-fashion’ practised by popular high-street retailers such as H&M and Zara, to the cosmetics industry: eschewing the traditional two collections in favour of a constant barrage of new products to encourage repeat custom, responding rapidly to trends and maintaining low prices.
And according to a report published by The Economist, the strategy appears to be paying off. Kiko’s revenues now stand at €432 million and, according to research conducted by Kantar Worldpanel, French 15- to 24-year-olds now buy as much in the cosmetics brand’s standalone stores in volume terms as they do in LVMH-owned Sephora.
Kiko has been owned by Percassi since 1997, and the group’s boss Antonio Percassi is credited with applying the fast fashion model to the cosmetics world, drawing on his experience from working with Benetton in the 1970s and his joint venture with Zara-owner Inditex, signed in 2001, not to mention his more recent partnership with Victoria’s Secret.
Kiko’s successful standalone store model has turned heads in the industry, prompting other brands to think twice about their reliance on other retailers. L’Oréal bought Nyx last year, an LA-based cosmetics brand with its own retail network, and has also been opening Dermacentres to sell its skin care lines Vichy and La Roche Posay. Department store Nocibé, meanwhile, has developed standalone stores for its private label cosmetics and brands such as Benefit and L’Occitane have always maintained a core network of individual outlets.