- Focus of successful #FORWARDBEAUTY growth strategy on “Digital First” pledge
- Integration of online shops, marketplace and stores into a data-based beauty platform
- Reinforcement of digital organisation through 100 new tech employees
- Launch of rapidly growing beauty marketplace in two further core markets by the end of the year
- Tina Müller, Group CEO Douglas: “Douglas is the first fully-integrated European beauty platform. Digital First is the decisive step from retailer with online shop to digital company with brick-and-mortar business.”
Düsseldorf, 13 November 2020. Douglas, one of the leading premium beauty retailers, is on its way to becoming the leading premium beauty platform in Europe. With this goal in mind, the company has specifically continued to push the development of its successful #FORWARDBEAUTY strategy programme ahead. Based on the philosophy of DIGITAL FIRST, Douglas will in future be integrating online shops, marketplace and stores into a data-based beauty platform, thus focussing its growth strategy on digital beauty retail.
Douglas will continue to consolidate its digital organisation with targeted investments and, at the same time, significantly expand its technology workforce by recruiting over 100 new employees. Beyond this, the successful beauty marketplace, which expands the Douglas product range to over 100,000 products, will be rolled out internationally. Following a strong start in its German home market, the exclusive partner programme is now also active in Austria, and will be rolled out to two more core markets by the end of the year.
Tina Müller, Group CEO Douglas: “We focused on the e-commerce business at an early stage as part of our #FORWARDBEAUTY strategy and made Douglas a successful omnichannel retailer with a strongly expanding online business. We are now taking the decisive step and developing Douglas into the first fully-integrated European beauty platform. Digital First will form the foundation of our new approach. Our goal is to improve all processes in the company through digital solutions. We are evolving from a retailer with an online shop into a digital company with a brick-and-mortar business.”
In recent years, e-commerce turnover has grown on average by approximately 35% annually, now amounting to more than 750 million euros a year (LTM). Douglas is thus approaching the one billion euros sales mark in e-commerce in great strides. Its increased online competence allowed the company to actively react to the COVID-19 pandemic and progressively steer customer demand into digital channels. Douglas expects that this shift will last to some extent, and in the long term will develop further in this direction. In the past third quarter, Douglas generated an increase of 70.3% in e-commerce business, and thus a record growth in a year-on-year comparison.
As an integral component of the data-based beauty platform, the store will be more than just a point of sale and, as a world of immersive retail experience in the city centres, an essential part of the holistic Douglas customer journey. The stores not only offer consultation, experience and service but also attract new customers for the online business. In this way, the gap between the two channels will gradually narrow. Through specifically targeted programmes, the stores are also directly involved in the success of the e-commerce business, for example by acquiring new customers for the app. The stores are networked with e-commerce operations via digital services such as “Click & Reserve” or “Click & Collect”. A strong link between technology and logistics also makes it possible to “Ship from Store”, which is already being used successfully across the board in French stores, and will be launched in selected German stores coming up to Christmas. The online shop’s access to the stocks of individual stores efficiently activates the inventories in the entire store network. This will integrate the stores into the digital marketplace, giving them a new role on the integrated beauty platform.
To implement its digital growth strategy, Douglas will be expanding its e-commerce team by recruiting technology experts, data analysts and marketplace specialists. “We are accelerating the digitalisation at Douglas with further investments in our digital team, a data-based optimisation of our processes – both online and offline – and the international rollout of our successful marketplace”, said Vanessa Stützle, Douglas Group CDO. “As the pioneer of the industry, we have already succeeded in establishing the first marketplace for beauty products in Europe. With this strategically important step we will continue to expand our position as the No. 1 beauty destination.”
At the end of 2019, Douglas launched its European beauty marketplace in its German home market. Through the marketplace and exclusive partner programme, Douglas has doubled its total product range within twelve months to over 100,000 premium-quality products, thus offering the largest product portfolio in Europe. The marketplace allows Douglas to expand its online offering with the products of exclusively selected partners but without the need to build up additional inventories. It also lets cooperation partners make use of an existing infrastructure (e.g. payment processing) while benefiting from Douglas’ prominence and market position: the partners have access to some 44 million Douglas beauty card customers. At present, customers in Germany and Austria have access to the extended range of products. The marketplace will be launched in two more core markets by the end of the year.
Douglas is the leading premium beauty platform in Europe. Offering more than 100,000 beauty and lifestyle products in online shops, the beauty marketplace and over 2,000 stores, Douglas inspires customers to live their own kind of beauty by a previously unparalleled assortment. The continued expansion of the fast-growing e-commerce business is the focus of the #FORWARDBEAUTY.DIGITALFIRST strategy programme. In fiscal year 2018/2019, Douglas generated sales of 3.5 billion euros in the areas of perfumery, decorative cosmetics, skin and hair care as well as nutritional supplements and accessories.
Corporate Communications Manager
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