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December 2012


Jersey, UK


Online retailer of premium beauty products

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Business at time of investment was a leading online retailer of premium beauty products, serving predominantly the UK market from its headquarters in the Channel Islands, and employing 125 staff.  The company generated around £30 million of revenue.

Investment rationale

The European beauty market was worth approximately €75 billion per annum, however penetration of the online channel was below 5%.  The online channel had been slow to develop, particularly in premium beauty, due to the tight control of brand owners over distribution channels. was strongly positioned as one of the only third parties authorised to sell products for the leading brands.  With the inexorable shift to online the company was ideally placed to build out a dominant position in the market, not only in the UK, but across Europe as a whole.

Value creation

  • Institutionalised management: Worked with founders to enhance senior leadership as the business internationalises, recruiting Joel Palix as CEO, Robert Bensoussan as Chairman and Jim Buckle as COO.
  • Improved operations: Increased reporting and measurement, improved supply chain management, procurement, contractual negotiation, customer retention, distribution and logistics.  Relocated the logistics centre to the UK mainland to significantly improve customer experience.
  • Expanded product range: Delivered key and exclusive supplier wins in the premium beauty as establishes itself as a trusted online distribution channel.
  • Developed a strong brand: Invested in the brand, re-launching website and improving the customer-centric focus of the service.  Launched a Chinese website in mid-October 2015.
  • Secured growth funding: Completed £20 million funding round in 2016 to accelerate European expansion by opening a local distribution capability in France.