Douglas, the Germany-based titan of perfume and cosmetics with 2400 stores across Europe, has long been a major springboard for Australian beauty brands looking to access the lucrative European market.

During its last financial year ended September 30th, the company’s sales reached 3.2 billion euros (AUD$5.07 billion). Only 6.4 percent under the previous fiscal year when revenues hit a record 3.5 billion euros (AUD$5.54 billion).

Douglas has invested heavily in e-commerce over the past two years as part of its #FORWARDBEAUTY strategy.

The initiative paid off, says Tina Muller, group CEO Douglas, with a 40.6 per cent increase in our e-commerce business over the past year. “Our success to date, with online sales of one billion euros (AUD$1.58 billion) in the entire calendar year 2020, is a confirmation that our strategy is working. No other European beauty retailer has seen such a strong increase in online sales combined with double-digit EBITDA margins.”

Singles’ Day, Black Friday and its Christmas campaign also propelled a record final quarter.

Douglas has announced it will be reducing its bricks-and-mortar presence by 20 per cent across Europe. Five hundred stores, the majority of which are in southern Europe, will be shuttered by the end of 2022.

Sixty of Douglas German stores from its national network of 430 are also part of the overall closure program.

According to the NPD Group, Douglas’ market share of the online beauty retail sector accounts for 25.4 per cent of sales across Europe and 39.9 per cent in Germany, Europe’s largest beauty and personal care market.

We also have big plans for the months to come, adds Muller. “The necessary reduction of our store network will be accompanied by investments in flagship stores in top locations, leading international brands and the consistent expansion of digital retail throughout Europe.

“Our rapid transformation demonstrates the strength of the combination of bricks-and-mortar and online retailing.”

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