ESTONIA. Baltic short-cruise and ferry operator Tallink Group has introduced high-end skincare house La Mer – with results in the first six weeks indicating that the brand is being well received.

La Mer, part of The Estée Lauder Companies, will be followed by two more brands from the top end of the multinational’s portfolio: Tom Ford Beauty and Jo Malone. The Moodie Davitt Report understands that the move from Lauder partly reflects the focus that Tallink Group has placed on attracting Asian passengers – who are keen prestige beauty shoppers – onto its routes.

The La Mer presentation on Silja Line ship Serenade has a prime location in the beauty department.

However the perfume and cosmetics powerhouse remains cautious in its approach to the Baltic ferries market and has so far only agreed to carry La Mer on Silja Line cruise ferries which operate on duty free routes, and on the new Megastar vessel, which operates on the duty paid shuttle route between Helsinki and Tallinn.

Tallink Duty Free Purchasing Department Manager Argo Aosaar said: “The decision by Estée Lauder Companies to add these brands reflects well on our strategy. We have shown nice numbers for Asian passengers and we have also put a lot of efforts and investment into our shops. I think these factors are changing the way some beauty houses perceive us.”

La Mer on the shuttle ship Megastar.

Aosaar said that he was surprised at the strength of sales of La Mer so far. “This is because we are not yet in the season for the bulk of our Chinese traffic. They are not really travelling much in April, but interest in the brand was already there, possibly from Thai passengers on board.”

Tallink Duty Free continues to review its beauty assortments as it monitors demand. “Skincare is still trending so we are giving more space to this sub-category,” commented Aosaar. “About two years ago our fragrances to cosmetics ratio was 60:40 but now it is 50:50. The category has changed a lot.”