As clean beauty retailers have been vying for market share with a range of similar niche brands, The Detox Market’s new e-commerce acquisition signals larger consolidation in the industry.
On August 18, 10-year-old The Detox Market purchased Toronto-based clean beauty e-tailer Clementine Fields for an undisclosed price. Clementine Fields stocks a range of well-known clean names including Alpyn Beauty, Ilia, Kjaer Weis, Olio E Osso and Rahua. This marks The Detox Market’s second acquisition of a clean beauty e-tailer, following the purchase of Freshfaced.ca in 2016. In addition to the e-commerce sites it has bought, The Detox Market acquired Toronto-based clean beauty physical store Husk in 2015.
“We’ve always been strong in e-commerce, as a company. That is one of the key drivers for us,” said The Detox Market founder Romain Gaillard. He noted that even before the pandemic hit, the retailer saw upwards of 60% of its sales coming from online and has seen “very strong” growth in its e-commerce sales since March.
Gaillard said 75% of The Detox Market’s brand portfolio overlaps with that of Clementine Fields, but “we got at least a few brands that we overlooked.” He said that the clean beauty industry will undergo more mergers in the next one to two years. “The market needs to consolidate in clean beauty and green beauty, from a brand perspective but also from a retailer perspective,” he said. “That’s why we’re making this acquisition and looking at potentially other things.”
Major mainstream beauty retailers have also been moving more aggressively into the clean category. Following Sephora’s Clean at Sephora designation, Ulta announced its own clean program and Credo Beauty partnership earlier this summer. Ulta also stocks clean beauty retailer Follain’s private-label brand, while clean beauty MLM brand Beautycounter also recently launched at Sephora. When asked if The Detox Market may be acquired itself someday, Gaillard said he is “just focusing on growing our business” for the time being.
Clementine Fields will remain a separate site for six months, with fulfillment and planning centralized with The Detox Market, and then will merge into The Detox Market by 2021.
The acquisition of an e-tailer demonstrates that The Detox Market is doubling down on e-commerce for the long haul, as physical retail remains “pretty soft,” according to Gaillard. Five of the retailer’s six physical stores, located in New York, California and Toronto, are now reopened, but the brand still sees the bulk of its sales online. Toronto and New York stores allow walk-ins, while California stores still only allow appointments and curbside pick-up. The retailer has also been investing in its own site, launching virtual consultations via the Hero platform on July 15.
“I do not think that retail is dead; we’ll come back in some capacity. But the economics of it will have to be very different,” said Gaillard.