French cosmetics company L’Occitane en Provence has signed an agreement with the commune of Réotier in the Hautes Alpes region to use thermal spring water from its ‘petrified fountain’ in its skin care products.
The water, which filters through layers of dolomite and gypsum is rich in calcium bicarbonate; the water exits the rock at 21°C and then degasses, precipitating the calcium into stalactites. The minerals in the water are known to affect the mechanism of the skin and the company is optimistic that the water will have useful properties for use in its products. Bénédicte Le Bris, Director General of Research and Development at L’Occitane, said: “We will perform formulation tests in the lab for several months to determine the principal actives in this water that could go into creams or shampoos."
The agreement allows L’Occitane to take a maximum of 5,000 litres of water per year over a two-year period. The company has suggested it will take around six years to develop products based on it. “The objective is to be able to use the water while respecting the integrity of the site,” said Jean-Charles Lhommet, in charge of sustainability at L’Occitane. “The use has to be both reasonable and sustainable.” Although the water is of interest in the short-term, Jean-François Gonidec, CEO of LOccitane, said the fountain could represent another business opportunity. “Depending on how the project progresses, we haven’t ruled out building a factory nearby,” he added. It is also hoped the fountain will now become a tourist attraction; L’Occitane is understood to have put aside €12,000 to build a car park with disabled access in anticipation of future visitors.
Clothes, Fashion accessories, Jewelry
After opening for a few hours on Saturday morning, Parisian department stores Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann, closed their doors for the rest of the day in the afternoon, as a consequence of the terror attacks that struck the French capital on Friday evening. Other ready-to-wear and luxury stores took similar action.
At 11:30 am, Le Printemps, a department store popular among tourists, announced to the AFP - the French news agency - that it was about to close its doors.
The Galeries Lafayette group, owner of the eponymous store, as well as of the BHV department store, in the center of Paris, had also opened its doors on Saturday morning, marking its "civic engagement" and its "willingness to resist".
However, according to a press release, "the group was compelled to reconsider its position at noon today, for its Parisian stores, [...] given the difficulty to maintain service quality for customers."
The LVMH group also announced that its Parisian outlets, including Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, as well as Sephora and Le Bon Marché, would stay closed all day.
A similar decision was made by H&M, which did not open its Parisian outlets on Saturday: "For the security of our staff and our customers, and in solidarity with the victims, we chose not to open our stores on Saturday, in Paris and its area."
Finally, Unibail Rodamco, which manages a number of malls in France, closed the Les Halles shopping centre at the heart of Paris, this time following a request from the authorities.
France-based perfume brand # Parfums Hashtag, which is primarily aimed at teenagers, has launched the website parfumshashtag.com and is giving users the chance to meet an artist from Universal Music France.
The site has six sections: the e-boutique, which sells the brand’s three current fragrances (I’m a Princess, Crazy Girl and I Love You); a quiz page where visitors can find the perfume that best suits their personality; an e-goodies page with free downloads of wallpaper for tablets and phones featuring # Parfums Hashtag photo montages; #Les Hashtagirls live!, a news page with updates and links to the brand’s Facebook and Instagram pages; a VIP page where those who sign up are given advance information on concerts, meet-ups and promotions, and can review new fragrances; and #Lactu-blog des Hashtagirls, a blog page with news and views about the company. The blog is currently offering a chance to win a rendez-vous for two people with a French music star published by Universal Music France, which handles hundreds of artists in a variety of genres, including French chanson. There are also 50 other prizes on offer, such as free perfumes and CDs.
The site offers shipping free of charge for purchases of €15 and above, which effectively means two purchases. The perfumes, which are in EDT concentration, cost €7.50 and the gift box set, which contains stickers and a hand mirror as well as perfume, costs €8.50. # Parfums Hashtag launched last September and is aimed at social media-savvy young girls.
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Even though its French e-commerce already generates the equivalent of a "small country" in sales, the womenswear clothing retailer has launched its first international portal, for Poland. It completes a network of 99 locations in the country which will serve as delivery points for the local clientele. One of the major particularities of this site compared to the French version is the possibility to pay upon delivery. A procedure that is still widely used in Eastern Europe, where cash payments are make up an important portion of purchases made.
"International and e-business are complementary growth levers for Camaïeu," explained the chains Marketing Director, Constance de Polignac. "The opening of our first international site is very emblematic, not only because Poland is a historic country for Camaïeu but also because the internationalisation of e-commerce is part of the approach that consists of proposing an offer and services adapted to the local markets."
Now in its fourth decade, Camaïeu is at the head of a network of 650 stores in France, plus another 370 in some twenty countries. At the beginning of fall, the retailer announced the deployment of a line of basics called Camaï, and a new premium range.
UBIFRANCE, the French agency for international business developement, comes under the aegis of France's Ministry for the Economy, Industry & Employment. UBIFRANCE lies at the heart of France's public-sector export support framework.