Dutch cosmetics chain Rituals has opened its first French boutique in Paris and it will add another 2 in Paris before the end of the year, while it also has plans for a boutique in Lille.
200 French stores in 10 years' time
The very first French Rituals store opened last week in the Parisian Le Marais district. Its 400-items strong product range - featuring unusual names (to French customers) like Laughing Buddha, Ancient Samurai, Sakura and Tao - is displayed in a 50 sqm store.
It will definitely add boutiques in Forum des Halles (Paris) and in the rue de Rivoli (also in the heart of Paris), with possibly other additions in the fringes of the city. CEO Raymond Cloosterman also aims to get a foothold in Lille before the year is through. "There is a potential for 200 Ritual boutiques in France over the next 10 years", the company ambitiously said in the French Le Figaro paper.
Its French store openings are part of an ambitious expansion plan: after taking its first steps in the United States, Brazil, Switzerland and Norway, the Dutch cosmetics firm has set its sights on Luxembourg (start of February), the Middle East, Australia and France for this year. All in all, the retailer wants to open 80 boutiques, which should boost its store network to 420 by the end of the year. On top of that, it hopes to launch another 300 sales corners in department stores, bringing that total to 1,400.
"Better margins than Chanel or Dior"
Aside from its own boutiques, Rituals founder Cloosterman wants to roll out its tried-and-proven 'Rituals shop-in-shops' formula to the French (luxury) department stores and perfume stores. It has done similarly with De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands or at Douglas in Germany.
This is Rituals' way of competing with its competitors, like the French luxury brands Dior and Chanel. "We offer a better margin per square meter than those brands", the Dutch CEO said. "Our goal is to get 50 % of our turnover from our own boutiques, 20 % out of department stores and perfumeries, 20 % out of eCommerce and 10 % out of travel retail." In 2014, the company managed a 30 % turnover increase and it hoeps to do similarly this year, in order to reach a 400 million euro turnover.