Nature is the future

Nature is the future

For more than five decades, French beauty brand Yves Rocher has been synonymous with botanical formulas and affordability for generations of French women.

At its stores, you can expect to find the one-of-a-kind Rinsing Vinegar ($18 for 150ml) to keep locks soft and smooth, as well as other inexpensive skincare, bodycare, cosmetics and perfumes made from natural ingredients.

Prices range from $7 for a 200ml bottle of shower gel, to about $60 for a 30ml bottle of anti-ageing serum.

Some even call Yves Rocher, The Body Shop of France.

It is more. To put things in perspective: Yves Rocher has at least 4,500 stores and counters across 100 markets; The Body Shop has around 2,500 stores in about 60 places.

Here, Yves Rocher was stocked until about a decade ago when the company decided to consolidate its business in Europe; but now it is back.

The brand re-entered the market with a store at Westgate in Jurong East late last year. Two more outlets have now opened at Takashimaya Shopping Centre and BHG Bugis.

"We're now working on market expansion and we want to target the major cities everywhere, so we're back in Singapore," says Mr Bris Rocher, the brand's chief executive who was in town two weeks ago for a market visit.

A TWIST OF FATE

Growing up, Mr Rocher, now 36, never wanted to head the eponymous French beauty empire built by his grandfather, Yves Rocher.

A fan of jazzy tunes, he wanted to be a musician.

But by a twist of fate, he found himself working at the company's accounting department when he was 16.

His father, Didier, had been appointed chief executive in 1992, when his grandfather and company founder, Yves, retired. But just two years later, the former died in an accident.

"My father passed away when I was 16 and I made up my mind to be involved in the family business," says Mr Bris Rocher.

"And my grandfather decided that I would be the one to continue the business, so he taught me everything."

The elder Mr Rocher returned to work at the company until his death at the age of 79 in 2009.

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