One on One with Revlon’s David Carvalho
David Carvalho, who joined Revlon last October in the newly created role of Senior Vice-President and General Manager Global Distributors, Licensees and Travel-Retail business, personifies the attention the cosmetics giant is giving to the travel retail channel.
Carvalho, a Brazilian by birth who has lived and worked in four different countries, combines a career with general consumer products, including personal care, skincare and cosmetics, with a successful stint in the airlines business where he was responsible for Alitalia Airlines’ international business.
“So I bring together my contact with consumer products, and my contact with travel retail from my time at Alitalia, to this new position with Revlon,” Carvalho tells Travel Markets Insider in a phone interview from Barcelona, Spain where he is headquartered.
As a brand with one of the most recognized name awareness in the world, Revlon has a good presence in the travel retail channel: “We are in nearly 200 top doors globally and more than 100 airlines,” confirms Carvalho, adding that the strongest travel retail presence is in the Americas, the Middle East and Asia. “A good part of our strategy will be to continue to expand the distribution with doors that are appropriate for our brand. We also have some specific targets where we see good opportunity. Europe, for example, where we are not as strong as we are in other regions, will be a big focus.”
The fundamentals of the core Revlon business make it particularly appropriate for today’s travel retail consumer, explains Carvalho:
“Revlon is the color cosmetic authority. That is Revlon’s very strong expertise and worldwide heritage. The brand is present in approximately 150 countries around the world. To give you an idea, we sell a nail polish every three seconds somewhere in the world. So we have a strong worldwide presence.”
In addition to its well-known name and expertise, Revlon brings a unique offering to the travel retail store operator, says Carvalho.
“Today, basically everybody is traveling, all profiles of passengers. And these travelers are shoppers, who are looking for the specific, right products and brands for their profile,” he says.
“The travel retail channel today is no longer just about luxury. I think it is more about servicing all the passengers by providing the products that the passenger wants. There are several studies that show that people are not finding everything that they are looking for in many airport shops. And very often they think the products that are available are too expensive, and they are looking for alternatives.
“And this is where Revlon comes in very strong. Revlon is a brand positioned between the mass brands and the prestige brands. This is a very important offering to many passengers around the world. Many people cannot spend on the luxury brands. But they want high quality, innovative products at an accessible price. This is where the Revlon proposition becomes very strong. It is a very unique position that Revlon has compared to the other brands.”
The key beauty trends of the day work right into the Revlon positioning, notes Carvalho.
“There is a big demand for high quality products in all segments. It’s not a question of just being expensive in travel retail, it is not just about being luxurious. It is a question of delivering high performance products, and for some categories glamour, at every price point.”
This positioning also makes Revlon particularly appropriate for gifting, one of the most important sales drivers in travel retail.
“Some 2/3 of shoppers are buying gifts in travel retail. Revlon is very well-positioned for these shoppers. Revlon is a worldwide known brand that offers high quality products at an accessible price and it is a beauty expert. So we have a very strong proposition for gifting. And we think we can help our customers develop this segment of the market because our position is so strong here.”
Revlon will be developing even more gift sets in the near future, says Carvalho: “In the next 12-24 months we will have a lot of fresh and exciting news for the brand in the channel that will help our retailers develop this part of the market.”
LOVE IS ON
In November, Revlon went super high-profile for the re-launch of its new global image and unveiling of its first global tagline in over a decade to announce that LOVE IS ON. Revlon says that LOVE IS ON is more than a marketing campaign. The brand is dedicating itself to inspiring love and connecting people around the world on an emotional level.
“LOVE IS ON is actually a very unique positioning compared to all the other cosmetic brands. The other brands are selling the beauty, but I think that we are going one step further, by helping to inspire this emotional response in people,” explains Carvalho.
In line with the global campaign, Revlon will be launching new merchandising units that showcase the positioning and will be refreshing all of its merchandising units in travel retail.
“We will also be re-launching all of our travel packs to be more in line with the LOVE IS ON positioning, featuring new graphics. And there will be more new surprises in the months to come in terms of product,” he says.
Travel Retail Focus
Carvalho says that the biggest challenge facing the travel retail industry is also the most exciting opportunity for Revlon:
“The challenge ahead is making sure that our retail customers have the right offer available for all the different profiles of passengers that are going into their stores. The challenge is choosing the right brands and the right positioning that will provide the right mix for these passengers. Revlon, because it has such a unique position with a worldwide equity, can help build some of these offerings to these profiles.
“Travel retail is a big priority for Revlon,” he stresses. “We are going to be putting a lot of focus on strengthening the power of the brand even more. We will be investing in extending the product line, investing in innovation– like our new Ultra HD lipstick, a wax-free, high definition color that women really love – investing in helping our customers with shopper insight, and supporting the development of this channel. We see a lot of opportunity to continue to develop the Revlon brand as we develop the channel.”
“We will also make sure that we have the right service to support our businesses in those airports, even as we expand our distribution. We have some very exciting plans going forward,” concludes Carvalho.
David Carvalho will be with the Revlon Travel Retail team in Orlando at the Duty Free Show of the Americas.