Friday, September 29, 2006

化妝品潮流Cosmeceuticals

昨日在《中環博客》專欄中,提到小女兒小豬過海上學困難,即時收到多位讀者回應及指教,禤中怡在這裏與小豬一起向熱心的讀者說聲衷心多謝。

言歸正傳,早前多種化妝品出事,公司內女同事的討論自自然然亦離不開這個對儀容影響至極的話題,秘書小姐Rebecca煞有介事的問禤中怡,化妝品這個行業前景會否從此一蹶不振。據Rebecca行街觀察,在銅鑼灣百貨公司內的化妝品專櫃前,睇的人還是不少,而化妝品推廣員的口吻還與以往差不多,都是主攻化妝品的效果,及提供即時示範作為賣點。故Rebecca坦言看不透這個行業前景?

作為投資人,最忌沒有做功課便發表意見,惟有即時嘗試從網上找找資料,粗略了解行業趨勢才「扮專家」。其中最大發現,是Cosmeceuticals這個概念對行業發展的影響,而個案分析(case study)就可以用美國知名化妝品品牌露華濃(Revlon)以作說明。

露華濃(Revlon)創辦人Charles Revson曾經說過,他並非賣化妝品這麼簡單,反而是為一眾愛美女士提供能夠變得「美麗」的希望。女人買化妝品當然希望變得更吸引(包括一眾單身大長今在內),但露華濃的管理層,好像失去了市場觸覺一樣,與市場趨勢背道而馳。這間股價跌剩1.2美元的公司,宣布要裁員250人,兼且關閉一條針對長者的產品線。該公司預計全年累積虧蝕將達7,500萬至8,500萬美元,認真嚇人。

露華濃目前已經不斷靠發行債券度日,雖然希望利用金融市場提供的財技手法,來處理業務不善的問題,但當中有批票據在08年到期,如果在未來兩年其業務還沒有改善過來,禤中怡粗略估計,這間老牌化妝品公司大有可能出現難逃申請美國《破產法》第11章(破產保護令)的命運。其實露華濃處於這個局面,同化妝品市場近年趨勢改變大有關連。

表面上,女人花很多錢在化妝品方面,但在美國,這個產業的年增長只係2%至4%,所以你要在這個產業賺大錢,就一定要對護膚潮流觸覺敏銳,否則就難有作為。露華濃最失敗的地方是,無發展近年大化妝品公司時興玩的Cosmeceuticals概念,即係用研究藥物的技術同理念研發化妝品,所以近年出現膠原蛋白、Q10這些名詞。而Estee Lauder有一半銷售來自Cosmeceuticals的護膚品,Loreal本身手上亦有The Body Shop、Vichy、Lancome這堆有名護膚品品牌,而且形象上都是以科研公司自居。

至於P&G手頭上的王牌SK-II及玉蘭油,都是玩Cosmeceuticals的概念。連製藥公司Johnson & Johnson,都推出Neutrogena,還未計及不計其數、打正旗號以醫生為號召的品牌,例如香港女士們比較熟悉的Mario Badescu,包裝似足政府醫生供應的藥水,但這隻牌子出名的是防治暗瘡產品。再看看露華濃的產品線幾乎看不出有任何Cosmeceuticals概念的投入,品牌只得一個,該公司亦甚少提到有甚麼科學上的新發明,換言之,化妝品並無科研上的增值,在一個周圍都是整容醫生、纖體廣告的年代,怎樣叫女士們信你賣希望給她們呢!目前化妝品都是知識密集、技術密集產業,如化妝品公司像露華濃般一成不變,不知世界發生甚麼事,那其競爭能力若何,確實不言而喻吧!

(9月28日刊於《am730》)

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