A recent report from Research and Markets estimates that the global market will reach US$15 billion over the next three years. Many brands are re-evaluating strategies to take advantage of the rebound, but analysts predict that companies with extensive expertise will strengthen their market position. MOR Boutique, with a long track record in launching innovative, high-end bath and body products along with lifestyle products and fragrances, is in the box seat.
The bath and body and gifting sectors have become a hotbed of buyout activity, fueled by private equity firms and major players in the cosmetic industry looking for new sources of expansion. In December last year, Uniasia Group, one of the largest manufacturing and R&D companies in Asia, acquired MOR. “It’s an exciting time with many opportunities,” says Anne-marie Guida, Marketing Manager for MOR. “Our parent company is based in Guangzhou, China, but the Head Office remains in Melbourne. MOR will continue to produce all of its skin and body care formulations in Australia, but we now have access to one of the biggest R&D centres in Asia, which specialises in body, skin, and hair care”.
The financial clout of Uniasia opens up other exciting opportunities, too, says Guida. “Major investment from our parent company is focused on re-positioning and strengthening the brand. The appointment of noted Sydney PR agency, Coote Connex, earlier this year is part of a significant increase in investment in public relations, advertising and sampling to boost brand awareness”.
A clear signal that MOR is shifting up several gears is the establishment of a new training department, says Guida. “We recently held our first MOR conference at The Mansion Hotel & Spa at Werribee Park. To become a leading player in the prestige bath, body and skin care category, we have hired a national training manager, 11 new sales representatives and 17 beauty advisors nationwide. Our increased focus on department stores requires the right service levels and back-up to attract new and existing customers to our expanded portfolio, offering them a more personalised approach”.
Opening stand alone concept stores has long been a major goal. For maximum impact, MOR’s first store opened in The Strand Melbourne, located on the corner of Elizabeth and Little Bourke Streets. Following a $20 million redevelopment, the centre is home to a mix of upscale fashion and lifestyle stores and has direct access to the Emporium Melbourne. “It’s so exciting to be able to showcase the full MOR collection in one space where the true essence of the brand can be experienced”, says Guida. “We will also stock an exclusive MOR branded home and accessory collection featuring lines such as leather pouches, knitted throws, turkish towels and bathroom accessories”.
Other key stores are on the drawing board. Sydney’s first MOR concept store will open in Chatswood in early November.
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