French beauty group L'Occitane launches Obratori start-up incubator

French beauty group L'Occitane has created a start-up incubator, surrounding itself with an eco-system of lean, innovative companies, which will help the group anticipate future consumer needs.

The incubator is called 'Obratori' and is located at the heart of the innovation district in Marseilles. Obratori's 950-m2 premises will host a dozen start-ups operating in the cosmetics and wellness sectors, as well as in the digital retail solutions business.

“The fostering of start-ups is a worldwide economic revolution whose impact will be visible very quickly, [start-ups] have become the most important players in the entrepreneurial world,” said Reinold Geiger, CEO of the L’Occitane group.


L'Occitane has created the Obratori incubator in Marseilles - DR

Once selected, the start-ups will benefit from a mentorship programme for a maximum of 23 months, and they will be able to tap into a network of expert advisers and L’Occitane’s own entrepreneurial environment.

“The programmes are tailor-made. Some start-ups may be more in need of R&D expertise, others of marketing know-how or international visibility,” said Ingo Dauer, General Manager of Obratori.
 
In the 2017-18 financial year, closed on March 31, the L’Occitane International group recorded a revenue of €1.31 billion. The group operates over 1,500 directly owned stores worldwide, and is also distributed via multibrand beauty retailers.

L’Occitane recently launched its own e-store on Chinese e-tail site JD.com. The goal is to boost the group’s sales in China, which in the last financial year were worth €159.1 million, compared to €139 million in the 2016-17 year.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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