Leading Brazilian direct-selling cosmetics company sets up a ‘global innovation hub’ in New York
Leading Brazilian direct-selling cosmetics company Natura Cosmeticos has set up a ‘global innovation hub’ in the heart of New York’s SoHo district and is looking for partners, particularly suppliers.
The firm’s team of seven, led by its innovation adviser, Randolph Schmid, has already created links with the Media Lab at Boston’s MIT, the Center for Research in Cutaneous Biology in Boston, and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “Our main goal at this centre is to pro- voke the process of innovation, with new ways of developing concepts and proto- types,” said Gerson Pinto, Natura Vice President of Innovation. “We want to inte- grate the process of internationalisation of the brand.”
Natura, which is worth about US$3bn in sales annually, currently makes about 80% of its profit in Brazil, with the other 20% in Latin America. Last year, the firm bought a 65% stake in Australian high end beauty product retailer Emeis Holdings for $68.25m, in order to build its international profile. Emeis is best known for the Aesop brand.
Natura sells door-to-door in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru and is the world’s fourth largest direct seller by market share, behind Avon Products, Amway and Japan Consumers Co-operative Union, according to figures from Euromonitor. However, Euromonitor also noted last year that the firm’s market share was slipping in Latin America due to strong pressure from its rivals and said it would have to boost its presence in international markets to stay ahead.