Rituals advocates for ‘courage over comfort’ in a time of crisis
Last October, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, beauty brand Rituals opened the doors to ‘House of Rituals’, a 1,500 square metre, four storey concept store which brings together a two-storey sales area, a restaurant, and also a spa for both mind and body which will open in the spring. The inauguration of this extraordinary place, which took two years of preparation, has taken place with a backdrop of a health context that is as unprecedented as it is unpredictable. After barely eight weeks of being open, House of rituals had to close its doors. The closure followed the Dutch authorities’ decision to impose stricter lockdown measures which includes shutting all non-essential stores until at least January 19.
For Cloosterman, the founder and CEO of Rituals, it is out of the question to base a business strategy on fear. “Now is the time to invest, courage over comfort,” insists the businessman at the helm of the independent company which employs 8,000 people, has a fleet of 850 branded stores, and generated sales totalling €865 million ($1.05 billion) in 2019.
“This year, 800 of our stores were closed for over two months and, despite this health situation, Rituals is growing slightly, which is a miracle,” said Cloosterman. “In fact, we are on the right side of the equation because wellbeing, of the body as well as the mind, are a central concern now more than ever.”
Rituals, which under normal circumstances has hoped for a growth of 20%, has managed to stay the course thanks to several factors. The first is e-commerce. In 2020, the brand’s singular e-commerce store generated 20% of Rituals’ revenue total compared to its prior usual rate of between 8% and 9%. In addition, the brand, which offers products at affordable prices which are both sensitive and high quality for both body and home and a high-end retail concept, has continued to open stores during this time. In 2020, the brand opened 40 new stores out of the initially planned total of 100 new stores.
With a network of over 800 stores, Europe is Rituals’ main business area and Germany is its main market. In France, where the brand was first established in 2015, it has 62 retail outlets in addition to its presence in large multi-brand department stores and at Sephora and plans to open around 20 new stores by next year. In Europe, Rituals will subsequently open in Poland and Italy. Rituals, which celebrated its 20th birthday during the healthcare and economic crisis, is also looking towards Asia, where it has been present for the past year and a half.
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