London, UK – January 17, 2022 – In the tough economic times brought on by the ongoing pandemic, boutique beauty brands are facing a financial crucible. Small and medium-sized beauty brands, long-cherished as cult favourites, have been a desirable take-over target for leading global beauty brands eager to incorporate a younger, edgier feel to their classic heritage-brand skincare and make-up portfolio. Prior to the pandemic, the boutique beauty industry was the subject of aggressive takeover bids in a competition to incorporate new client bases including younger clients who yearned for edgy and trend-setting brands and mature clients looking for niche high-end products. The pandemic, with its ruthless economic realities, has seen cult favourites cut loose and in the worst cases, brands have had to shutter their doors.
For favourite beauty and fashion brands Olio Lusso, Manufactured 1987 and Its Me and You, businesses led by female founders with a feminist ethos and the energy and drive of a start-up, the past few years have seen extreme highs and lows. Once thriving, their brands were left to languish after high-profile investments and takeovers didn’t pan out. Now the brands are seeking a re-birth.
“There’s a lot of love and name recognition still left in these brands,” explains Ieva Kubiliute, a beauty and wellness freelance writer. “They were created by passionate founders and that passion translated into clients who fully bought into the brands. Though they were smaller in scale, they had a following that major brands would be envious of. That loyalty and devotion are what initially drew those brands to the eye of major beauty conglomerates and, in the end, it’s what led to their downfall after clients were let down. Fans want to see a revival of the glory days of those brands.”
Having dabbled in the competitive world of mergers and acquisitions and venture capital, and not finding a home there, Olio Lusso and other brands have become highly attractive for new takeover bids eager to breathe life into brands. In late 2021, an anonymous London-based hedge fund acquired the Olio Lusso, Manufactured 1987, and Its Me and You brands for an undisclosed amount. The future of these brands hasn’t yet been disclosed, but additional information is anticipated in the coming year.
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