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Pierre Fabre aims to expand in Vietnam

Released at: 16:53, 07/11/2017 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Pierre Fabre aims to expand in Vietnam

Photo: PFDC

Mr. Eric Ducournau, President & CEO of Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique, tells VET about the group's business activities and its development plans in Vietnam.

by Hong Nhung

  • How has Pierre Fabre’s business performance been over the last year and the first half of this year in Vietnam and the world? Has the parent group been satisfied with the results?

The Pierre Fabre Group’s revenue in 2016 reached nearly $2.6 billion, of which $1.65 billion came from the derma cosmetics market and 60 per cent of derma cosmetics’ sales came from markets outside of France. Asia, especially Vietnam, has always been an important market for the Group. Last year, we accounted for 1.4 per cent of Vietnam’s derma cosmetics market, with a growth rate of 20 per cent per year. In the field of derma cosmetics, among three international corporations in Vietnam, Pierre Fabre ranked second in terms of market share. We still believe our growth rate in 2017 will be at 20 per cent.

With our orientation “from health to beauty”, I fully believe that Pierre Fabre will be the market leader in terms of derma cosmetics production. When Mr. Pierre Fabre first laid the foundations for his derma cosmetic products, he wanted to locate them at the boundary between medicine and conventional cosmetics. Thanks to that position, we have a close relationship and tight links with dermatologists, typical in Vietnam, and doctors have been familiar with the Pierre Fabre derma cosmetics brand for a long time.

In order to gain the trust and active support of local doctors and dermatologists, Pierre Fabre’s derma cosmetics products have a high level of safety due to the fact that they are mainly derived from natural ingredients, and secondly due to their effectiveness in treatment, because unlike other cosmetic brands, Pierre Fabre’s products have to undergo clinical studies as pharmaceutical products before entering a market.

  • What are the main product lines distributed in Vietnam? Which customers are you focusing on?

We have three major brands in Vietnam, including Avène, using mineral water, Aderma, with oat extracts for skin care, along with Ducray, specializing in hair. Avène has been a leading derma cosmetics brand in Europe and we lead in markets like Portugal, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China, and our brand is present in nearly 130 countries and territories worldwide.

Our target consumers are firstly people with sensitive skin, who pay great attention to ingredients and substances in the products they use. The second targets are local people who know about our products through consultancy and prescriptions from doctors or pharmacists. Finally, we target people who have a preference for environmental protection and are concerned about products that give prominence to sustainable development, because Mr. Pierre Fabre, from the very beginning, defined his products as being developed and designed from natural ingredients and natural resources without exhausting them, like mineral water, oats, or products extracted from certain plants. He always had specific programs for those and used natural resources without exhausting them, such as minerals, oats, or sprouts, and always had a program to develop and maintain these resources to exploit them sustainably and respect the natural environment. Such specific consumer characteristics differentiate our products from other luxurious cosmetics brands.

  • What are your plans to develop your products in Vietnam?

In 2014, we decided to establish a research and development (R&D) center in Tokyo, Japan, to study and promote products that are appropriate to consumers in different climatic conditions as well as the typical characteristics of Asian skin, for example acne vulgarization and skin dehydration.

Our company targets the Vietnamese population with a certain level of income and intellectual standards, with many cultural elements included. The cultural factor here is that we rely heavily on beauty and skin care consultancy from pharmaceutical specialists. Therefore, in the company’s orientations, we do not put Pierre Fabre derma cosmetics together with other luxury brands sold at high-end shopping centers.

In some countries where Pierre Fabre brands are present in high-end shopping malls, sales have never accounted for more than 40 per cent of the company’s total revenue in that market. We always place our products in pharmacies, hospitals, and skin care centers in order for consumers and patients to get the most professional health and skin care advice from dermatologists. Even nowadays, young people shop a lot online, through online shopping channels or on Facebook, but we still determine our direction as being always attached to the advice of medical and beauty professionals.

However, among the internet boom and the development of social networks, I think that we have to face different challenges. In a lot of countries now, people still believe in their doctors and pharmacies so they ask for advice from them, but in the meantime, they also share opinions about products on social networks. We have to maintain this link with pharmacies and doctors because of the real illustrations of our formula and active ingredients, and we also have to be more transparent with consumers. The level of sales is very high on the internet, but in the meantime, we have to take care of consumers who want to see a lot of information on products from this channel. In the future, we will boost our products on e-commerce channels.

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