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Editors' Top Reads: News from Unilever, Laneige, Lancôme and more... Team
14 June 2024

Here are some of this week’s news and features highlights handpicked by team.


Unilever Prestige CEO Vasiliki Petrou to depart business

Vasiliki Petrou this week confirmed her departure as CEO of Unilever Prestige, the division she created a decade ago to help bring a portfolio of premium beauty brands into the company. She will leave the business at the end of July to set up her own investment fund.

Petrou announced her exit in a heartfelt post on LinkedIn, mentioning the growth of the division since its creation in 2014, as well as sharing her thanks to the colleagues, brands and retailers she's worked with along the way. Over the years, Unilever has added a number of global beauty brands to its prestige portfolio. Among the acquisitions is Tatcha, Hourglass, Living Proof, Murad, Dermalogica, Kate Sommerville and REN Clean Skincare, as well as the purchase of premium biotech haircare brand K18 in December last year.

Labelled as one of the fastest-growing parts of Unilever, the prestige beauty division contributed turnover of €1.2 billion in 2022. It also grew double-digits in 2023 and said growth was being driven by premium product innovations, as well as brand experiences delivered via new channels such as digital commerce - all achievements I'm sure Petrou and the wider Unilever Prestige team will be proud of!

Sophie Smith, News Editor & Senior Writer.


Viral K-beauty brand Laneige is coming to a high street near you

Prior to Laniege's UK launch in Space NK in April 2023, I'd hunt high and low for its Lip Sleeping Masks in Sephora every time I was overseas. Now, Boots is making it easier than ever to get my hands on the skincare must-haves. This week, the K-beauty brand has arrived at local high streets across the nation in partnership with Boots.

Laneige is one of the 25 brands Boots is adding to its line-up this summer, making beauty more accessible than ever. Other brands, including The Beauty Crop, Tree Hut, Coats and Kurl Kitchen, have already landed and are available to shop at Boots.

Boots is taking note of the brands that have rapidly reached cult status, thanks to TikTok's ability to make beauty products viral in a matter of moments. Alice Rafferty, Director of Luxury Beauty and Cosmetics at Boots, said: "It is such an exciting time to be a beauty lover – the industry is evolving quicker than ever before, with new brands emerging and reaching cult-like status in a matter of weeks. As the home of beauty on the high street, we are committed to bringing the very best of beauty to our customers."

Chloé Burney, Senior New & Features Writer.

Labour vows to replace business rates in manifesto

The second most exciting national happening to take place on 4 July is, of course, the General Election (the first being the inaugural Awards as if you needed reminding). Unlike our Awards, where the shortlist of candidates are so strong and the winners are hard to predict, the result of the General Election seems (as I type at least) to be a pretty much foregone conclusion.

Barring something deeply unexpected (and these things do happen), Sir Keir Starmer will be our next Prime Minister. His party's manifesto was revealed this week and (praise be!) it seems like the iniquitous business rates system will finally be overhauled. After banging their heads against a brick wall for the past decades and more, retailers' voices are finally being heard. Why is that the retail industry, which accounts for 5% of our economy, should be lumbered with 22% of the business tax burden?

It we want a vibrant high street, then we have to make it more attractive for stores to trade and overhauling this tax is a great place to start. We don't yet know the detail of the new proposed system but it promises to level the field between online and offline trading, so I'm hopeful it will be better than what we have now. If Sir Keir could also see his way to reinstating tax-free shopping too, the sector really would be boosted.

If the unexpected does happen and the Conservatives get back in, they too have pledged to overhaul business rates, but it does rather beg the question why they have ignored this issue for the past 15 years. Still, it would be better late than never.

Lauretta Roberts, Co-founder, CEO and Editor in Chief.


Lancôme to celebrate latest launch with new pop-up in London

Lancôme is celebrating its latest launch with a new pop-up in London's Covent Garden, currently taking place today and tomorrow in an experience "tailor-made for makeup enthusiasts".

Partnering with exclusive retailer Boots, the pop-up features interactive installations and personalised makeup sessions sharing tips and tricks from "world-renowned" makeup artists. It is also offering free makeup samples, as well as showcasing and selling the brand's new Lip Idôle, described as "a new lip hero that delivers an instant flush of colour, supercharged hydration and glow", amongst a number of other best-selling products.

The news comes as Covent Garden continues to be a pop-up hotspot for the beauty industry, having welcomed a host of exciting brands over the years, including The Inkey List, CeraVe, Benefit Cosmetics and NYX Professional Makeup.

Sophie Smith, News Editor & Senior Writer. 

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