NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 2 – Cosmetics firm Oriflame has unveiled a new range of beauty care products as it seeks to consolidate its position as one of the market leaders in the country.
The range consists of 55 products with anti-ageing properties and will go hand in hand with the upgraded beauty centre designed to enable the firm offer more personalised services to its high end customers.
“We want to get a message out to all Kenyans that Oriflame has some high-end beauty centres where they can get advice, testing of their skins, training for free and they can even get their products all in a one-stop house,” the firm’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for East Africa Terje Width enthused.
Since setting up its operations in the Kenyan market in December 2008, the cosmetics company has made great progress and is already profitable.
Mr Width attributes the success to a direct sale strategy which enables them to have a face-to-face contact with their customers to move more quality products.
The growing middle-class in Kenya and the East African region is another factor that is greatly contributing to their bottom-line as more people now have extra money to spend on their beauty care regime.
“The company is making money and we are very pleased with how the financial part (of the business) is growing. We are looking at the opportunity to add more products into the market as we learn what the needs of the consumers are,” the COO said of their plans and portfolio which consists of about 1,500 products.
And contrary to expectations that women are their main customers, men are discounting the myth that beauty products are specifically targeted to the opposite sex with Mr Width revealing that the uptake of the ‘male beauty line’ is growing rapidly.
“They (men) are paying attention to particularly the fragrances and skin care products and they are getting conscious of their look and this is something that we as a business welcome,” he added.
The company intends to leverage on this business segmentation to beat competition which it expects to intensify in coming years as more multinational beauty firms jostle for a piece of the African pie.
Plans are also underway to expand into more countries in sub Saharan Africa although the COO remains guarded on the timelines.
Currently, the firm is represented in 12 sub-Saharan countries and it is looking forward to open up offices in every country in the region.
“We want to conquer the region as quickly as we can but we will not jeopardise the quality or any aspect of our business,” declared Mr Width.