L’Oréal Consumer Products is set to capitalise on the soaring popularity of the nail segment in 2013, by focusing strongly on its Essie brand in travel retail. L’Oréal acquired the leading US nail polish brand, founded in 1981 by Essie Weingarten, in 2010.

“Essie nails is booming,” L’Oréal Consumer Products Worldwide Marketing Director Travel Retail Charles Roullet told The Moodie Report. “We are very pleased with the initial results in travel retail, and have big expectations for 2013.”

The Essie brand is known for its expertise in setting colour trends. “Madame Essie Weingarten is still behind each new colour development,” noted Roullet. Other points of difference are a long-lasting formula and an easy-to-use brush. One bottle of Essie is sold every five seconds.

L’Oréal’s Best of Essie travel retail exclusive set and new The Body Shop gondola

“There are around 250 shades in total, but we have selected the top 70 best-sellers for the travel retail channel,” Roullet explained. “Eight new shades have been added this January. We will also refresh the selection further with a limited-edition summer 2013 collection.”

In addition to colour, the Essie portfolio includes nail care products, such as base coats and top coats, all of which help to offer a full nail service to consumers, according to Roullet. Six different base coats are available, and four different top coats.

L’Oréal has already created a travel retail exclusive set, called Best of Essie. As the name suggests, the set contains a trio of the brand’s best-selling shades (Fifth Avenue, Mademoiselle and Chinchilly) plus a free top coat. In travel retail, L’Oréal is also offering a transparent Essie pouch as a gwp, to allow travellers to create their own customised set.

In terms of travel retail merchandising, to accommodate the different space available, L’Oréal has created Essie-branded cashier glorifiers; towers to carry the full range of 70 shades and the nail care range; and gondolas and Nail Hubs – the latter incorporating stations where travellers can receive free express manicures.

The Essie Nail Hub in Paris Charles de Gaulle S4

To date Essie is available in Antalya, Brussels, Warsaw, Zürich, Stockholm and Paris Charles de Gaulle airports. “We are more than pleased with the brand’s performance so far, and are confident it will go from strength to strength in 2013,” Roullet commented.

Another key travel retail focus this year for L’Oréal Consumer Products is The Body Shop brand, acquired by the group in 2006. “Since its launch in travel retail in 2009, The Body Shop has developed, attracting a different kind of consumer, a new generation which cares about the environment, sustainable development and fair trade,” Roullet explained. To date there are 257 stores in the channel: 39 in the Americas, 183 in Europe-Middle East-Africa and 35 in Asia Pacific.

“The brand has embarked on a big-bang project”¦ a new brand positioning, “˜Beauty with Heart’, and a new shopping experience that we are now rolling out to travel retail,” Roullet revealed. New product design and new merchandising towers, hubs and gondolas have been created, to reflect the new concept. They aim to introduce and reinforce the values of the brand, encourage testing and discovery, stimulate impulse purchase, and display the ingredients issued from community fair trade.

The product portfolio in travel retail is segmented into three key categories: skin care, bath & body, and fragrance. “Skin care is a priority everywhere and especially in Asia, where the latest addition to the Tea Tree range, Pore Minimiser, completes the offer for blemished skin,” Roullet explained. “Within bath & body, we are enjoying huge success with the iconic Body Butters, and the new Peach Vineyard range is very promising. Our new Beautifying Oils will complement the category. This addition to the range fits the booming trend of oils, already strong in regions such as Brazil and the Middle East.”

For 2013, The Body Shop has refreshed its Travel Exclusive Collection, which now comprises 15 sets and features the new brand design. All contain different best-sellers and include a free gift to stimulate impulse purchase. The boxes are handmade by The Body Shop’s Community Fair Trade supplier in Nepal, a partnership which helps give local children an education.

Key Body Shop travel retail openings in 2012 included Beirut, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Tokyo, Shanghai, Bangkok and Buenos Aires. “Now we are looking forward to exploiting many new opportunities in 2013 and beyond,” Roullet concluded.