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Aroma-Zone sets up in Marseille and prepares its internationalization


Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Thursday, April 21st 2022 à 10:50 | Read 334 times


Aroma-Zone's concept of selling do-it-yourself cosmetics and home care products is gaining strength in the south of France with the opening of a shop in Marseille and then in Montpellier, and will soon be exporting to Belgium, before moving on to Spain and Italy.


Aroma-Zone opens a 250 m& shop in Marseille (photo: F.Dubessy)
Aroma-Zone opens a 250 m& shop in Marseille (photo: F.Dubessy)
FRANCE. Aroma-Zone (€87m turnover and 300 employees in 2021) is continuing its development by opening its eighth boutique-workshop in Marseille on Friday 15 April 2022, covering 250m². Initially published in the form of a blog on the science of plants and respect for nature, the concept has expanded into e-commerce (6,000 orders per day in 2021) before offering shop-workshops. It is based on the sale of basic cosmetic and home care products (essential oils, hydrolats, plant powders, etc.) coupled with introductory workshops for making your own mixtures. Sabrina Herlory, who has been the company's CEO for five months, does not talk about shops. Just as she uses the term community rather than customer to describe her 450,000 or so consumers. Coming from the L'Occitane group (2007 to 2016) before joining and then managing MAC Cosmetics France (Estée Lauder group), she follows the communication habits of the company born 22 years ago.

With its 1,700 references of natural products - "There are thirty million possible combinations", says Pascale Ruberti, innovation director - and 3,000 homemade beauty and well-being recipes freely available on its website, Aroma-Zone claims to be "a pioneering brand in aromatherapy and an emblematic representative of 'Do it yourself'".
 

Sabrina Herlory, CEO of Aroma-Zone, is gradually developing the workshop shops (photo: F.Dubessy)
Sabrina Herlory, CEO of Aroma-Zone, is gradually developing the workshop shops (photo: F.Dubessy)

First workshop boutique abroad in September 2022

Although the family business was created in 2000 by Pierre, Anne-Cécile and Valérie Vausselin in Clermont-Ferrand and is now domiciled in Paris under the name Hyteck, its production site (Sci du Levant, administrative headquarters since 2007) with a laboratory is located in Cabrières d'Avignon. Research and development (R&D) activities are also carried out in this village in the Luberon. And shipments from Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne, also in the Vaucluse. Aroma-Zone works directly with 380 producers in 120 countries.

However, the first Aroma Zone unit opened in 2014 in Paris (in the Odéon district) and it was not until 2020 that the arrival of a 600 m² boutique-workshop in Aix-en-Provence marked the first foray of a shop into the South of France. Today, with the opening of a store in Toulouse in 2021 and the recently opened store in Marseille, the brand is strengthening its presence in this part of France.

The next opening is planned for Montpellier in July 2022. While the consolidation of the network in France remains a priority, the next step will be to move beyond borders. 15% of orders placed on the website come from abroad, "even though the site is only in French", Sabrina Herlory points out. This figure gives her ideas.

In September 2022, internationalisation will begin with the opening of a boutique-workshop in Brussels. This foray abroad will be extended, "little by little", says the CEO, to other countries. "We will start with neighbouring countries," she reveals, citing Italy, Spain and Switzerland in particular.
The concept of Aroma-Zone is based on do-it-yourself cosmetics and home care products (photo: F.Dubessy)
The concept of Aroma-Zone is based on do-it-yourself cosmetics and home care products (photo: F.Dubessy)



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