In Insight, Marketing, Retail

Over 21 years, beauty retailer Mecca has become an industry powerhouse revolutionizing the retail beauty market in Australia. Founder Jo Horgan attributes this to choosing the right people, including her husband and co-owner Peter Wetenhall, who joined the business full time in 2005 as co-chief executive.

The Founder: Living in Australia and working for L’Oréal as a project manager, Jo Horgan saw an opportunity to sell beauty in a different way then the branded department store model. In 1997 she left her job, sold her home to help raise funds, and founded Mecca, opening the first location in Melbourne’s upmarket South Yarra suburb.

The Concept: Standalone, multi-brand cosmetics stores where the merchandising philosophy was to offer a number of different brands that staff would recommend based on what was right for individual consumers. Some of the first brands to be carried were Nars, Stila, and Urban Decay.

Today: Mecca has 87 outlets across Australia and New Zealand with both Mecca Cosmetica and its bigger counterpart Mecca Maxima, an exclusive edit of over 100 brands, and reported annual revenues of 287MM Australian dollars ($223MM; £157MM).

The Australian Market: According to Arna Richardson, a cosmetics industry analyst at market research group Ibis World, Mecca has a market share of less than 3%, and Sephora, which launched in the market in 2014, has 13 stores, and a market share of less than 1%.

Read more on BBC.

Photo: via Mecca

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