Less is more: P&G culls a sixth of Olay line

Less is more: P&G culls a sixth of Olay line

In a bid to refocus the brand on anti-aging alone, Procter & Gamble has discontinued several products from its Olay range, bringing the new product count to approximately 120 – in total eliminating a sixth of all products, according to a report published in The Wall Street Journal.

“It isn’t a path that many beauty brands would take but we need to focus on our core,” said Alexandra Keith, President of Global Skin Care and Personal Care at P&G.

Analysts are divided whether the strategy – consistent with P&G’s wider drive to boost sales through greater efficiency – will pay off for the brand. It’s certainly a departure from established procedure in the beauty industry, where new products are considered the key to sales growth.

But that theory clearly isn’t working for P&G; US sales of the Olay brand have declined in the last five years, reaching US$769 million in 2014, down from a 2010 high of close to US$1 billion. The company is also working on revamping its display in store, simplifying on-shelf navigation, removing clutter and mirroring department store counters on a smaller scale in supermarkets with dedicated display boxes.