Interparfums relies on Rochas to spearhead growth in 2017

French fragrance distributor Interparfums recorded in 2016 a revenue of €365.6 million, up 11.7% over 2015, and has forecasted sales worth between €385 and €390 million in 2017, equivalent to an increase between 5 and 7%. A crucial factor in fulfilling this expectation will be Rochas, which the group bought from Procter & Gamble in 2015.



A Mademoiselle Rochas ad - Rochas

In its first full year as part of Interparfums' brand portfolio, Rochas generated a revenue of €29.2 million, making it the group's fourth-ranked licence behind Montblanc (€110 million), Jimmy Choo (€81 million) and Lanvin (€56 million). But Rochas is likely to climb up the table eventually, as the plan is for it to generate sales of approximately €35-40 million from 2017, equivalent to an increase between 20 and 30%. 

Until now, Rochas' fragrance business was concentrated on two lines, Eau de Rochas and Rochas Man, 75% of whose sales came from France and Spain. This will change in 2017, as Interparfums is ready to release the label's first scent since the acquisition, launching it in some twelve countries.

With the objective of "re-establishing Rochas as a Parisian luxury label," Interparfums has now unveiled the Mademoiselle Rochas fragrance, which will be widely available from 25th March in France. Interparfum's declared aim is to "re-energise this perfumery brand, giving it a more contemporary feel and attracting a younger clientele," according to CEO Philippe Bénacin. The new fragrance targets 25 to 35-year-old customers, while Rochas' classic range has a greater appeal among the 40-year olds. The launch will be supported by an advertising campaign whose main focus will be a TV ad featuring Swiss actress Noémie Schmidt. 

Interparfums expects to generate sales worth between €7 and €8 million from this fragrance alone in 2017. "If [the fragrance] will be a major success, we could even expect between €10 and €12 million," added Bénacin. 

The French group now holds five Rochas licenses (notably womenswear, eyewear and watches) and launched a men's ready-to-wear line independently in 2016. The collection's main purpose for the time being is to bolster Rochas' brand image, as its operating costs, in the region of €1.2 million, have not yet been covered by sales, which Interparfums says are still weak.  "It is more of an advertising investment, since apparel gives us media exposure and increases our visibility. We will have to experiment with it, tackling an industry, fashion, which is much more unpredictable than the fragrance market," said Philippe Bénacin, who reckons that, on the womenswear side, "the work of Alessandro Dell'Acqua is increasingly well received." 


The Rochas fashion show, AW 2017-18 - Rochas

Rochas' fashion aura is therefore set to bolster the brand's global image and indirectly benefit the fragrance business, while Interparfums will launch another Rochas men's line in 2018. 

The French group's board of directors was recently joined by Véronique Gabaï-Pinsky, CEO of Vera Wang, and Interparfums is keeping a watchful eye on the market in a bid to acquire new licences. It notably approached Coty, which in 2015 integrated 42 brands belonging to Procter & Gamble, but so far without success. Coty is in the midst of a reorganisation and stated it was not yet ready to consider the option.



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