Yves Rocher plans rapid expansion

Yves Rocher plans rapid expansion

Longden: Subsidiary will aid growth
Longden: Subsidiary will aid growth

Yves Rocher, the French cosmetics company, says it will spend 200 million baht for faster expansion in Thailand over the next three years.

The investment plan comes after Yves Rocher turned its Thai unit into a subsidiary after buying back shares from its Thai partner.

Ian Longden, managing director of Yves Rocher Thailand Ltd, said it plans to increase its sales and number of stores as well as strengthen its brand awareness here over the next three years.

At least 30 new shops are expected to be opened by 2019. This year 14 new shops with space between 50-100 square metres are slated to open in Bangkok and major provinces. Each shop will hire four to 12 staff.

The new shops will adopt the concept introduced in France three months ago: more modern with natural elements. All existing shops will also be renovated under the new store concept, starting with the Central Airport Chiang Mai branch. It will also introduce a loyalty programme.

"Yves Rocher has been in Thailand for two decades. I joined Yves Rocher four months ago. But the more I look at it, the more I like it," Mr Longden said.

Yves Rocher was established in France 59 years ago to provide botanical beauty care products before the global trend emerged.

Mr Longden has 20 years of experience in beauty and food retail businesses in Thailand, working with Watsons, Big C and Tesco Lotus. "Watsons has over 300 stores here, but Yves Rocher has just 78. I know what we need to do to develop our business," he said.

Yves Rocher is available worldwide, with 72% of turnover coming from Europe and 2% from Asia.

"The brand's expansion here may have been slow the past few years. But with our own subsidiary now, we will move at a faster pace," Mr Longden said.

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