You might not have heard of Revolution Beauty yet, let alone its co-founder and creator Adam Minto. But, if he succeeds, that will soon change.
Tomorrow he is launching the business he launched eight years ago on the London Stock Exchange with an invoiced value of almost £ 500million. And that’s just the last step in his plan, he says.
“I honestly think we are doing something very different. I think we can build a global beauty business to challenge the big guys – businesses that have always been there and normally acquire businesses like us.
Versatile: Revolution’s Adam Minto is already selling in 100 countries
Already selling in more than 100 countries, Minto – who is also a managing director – says he has ignored approaches from L’Oréal, Revlon, Unilever and Coty in an effort to remain independent.
“Each brand ends up selling itself to these multinationals. What Revolution is trying to do for the consumer, for the business, for our team, is provide a positive outlook on the beauty industry and do what most businesses aren’t fortunate enough to do. make.
“I have manufactured, designed, developed products for major beauty brands all my life. But I felt that the industry had become elitist. It’s not meant to be controversial. But the industry had a bad image – only used models, even retouched beautiful people, and forced this version of beauty on the consumer.
“It was a question of perfection. I felt the industry was overwhelmed and needed to change. We use real people. We have been humane from the start when, incredibly, the industry was not. All of those things that are completely natural to us: body positivity and reality.
Minto, 51, started his first business in 1989 with his father Peter.
He was determined not to join his father’s business in the beauty packaging industry. So together they created a separate – “not very imaginative” company called Minto & Family, he says.
He soon found himself supplying products like Revlon and Rimmel as well as drugstore boots that brought high prices to the industry. “It just exploded – I was in the right place at the right time. In 1999, when we sold the company, I was making over 100 million lipsticks a year.
Several incarnations later and an earlier business that “just didn’t work out,” Minto met current business partner Tom Allsworth, now president, and started Revolution.
“I met someone who was really the best opposite to me with Tom. I come from a creative and branded environment and he from an operational environment. It’s the ant of my dec, as they say.
“I knew the industry inside out, I knew how to manufacture, how to expand production. I thought digital was going to be the future – which sounds crazy to say in hindsight because it’s very obvious now, especially after the pandemic.
“But it wasn’t easy at the time. Even now, over 90 percent of the mass [market] the beauty industry is still sold in stores, I don’t think it will be in seven years.
Not content with first developing the activity in the United Kingdom, the duo have already defined global ambitions. “I created a lot of brands for other companies and realized they had made mistakes, focusing on the UK and not going global until much later. Of course, at that point a competitor comes in or else the market moves when you are ready. It’s the same with American brands. There are very few global brands.
The couple have since assembled a team of industry veterans to help them grow and create a global infrastructure following financial support in 2017 from a beauty investment boutique, TSG Consumer. Revolution now sells in 45 countries in-store and via e-commerce in over 100 countries. The UK accounts for a third but America will be the biggest this year. Tomorrow, Allsworth and Minto will each sell £ 15.6million of shares and both retain a stake of £ 78million, or just over 30% of the company. Sales amounted to £ 157.6million in the 14 months to the end of February.
They have built warehouse and logistics “centers” in the UK, US and Australia and field teams to manage opportunities in a handful of specific countries.
“I wanted to create a digital first global brand. I guess we wanted to build a mini-L’Oreal or a mini-Estée Lauder. As part of our strategy, we have traveled around the world to very different places – Poland and the Czech Republic, for example. Totally different from Italy or Turkey.
“We did this primarily to build this global brand to make sure that the product offering was also suitable for different tastes, different skin tones and, in some places, prices, and to build an operational infrastructure. to support this growth. Choice for the consumer was the most difficult issue: the difficulty of getting a concealer and foundation that matched skin tone, the price and the disparity in quality – that you had to pay a higher price. high to obtain a product of incredible quality.
Minto says the company is now poised to become “one of the top 20 beauty companies in the world.”
All smiles: Adam Minto says the company is now capable of becoming “one of the 20 best beauty companies in the world”
He says Revlon – which he already sells in individual retail stores – is the 20th largest beauty company with a turnover of $ 2.4 billion (£ 1.7 billion). But, despite the initial successes, he stresses that his exposure to these markets is still low. “Remember, we only have a narrow cast at the moment. Only one retailer in each country. But we believe we can develop a similar size business [to Revlon] over the next seven years. To annual sales of billions? – Yes, that’s what I think possible at the time.
He cites Asos and Boohoo as companies that have flown on the stock market, adding: “I think the beauty market is going to undergo the same kind of change as the fashion market – balanced between digital and bricks and mortar. “
On the eve of his debut on the stock market, he looks back on the journey he “started 32 years ago with my father”, who died 19 years ago almost to the day. “He would be very proud,” he said.
“People might think it’s an overnight success – eight years might not seem that long – but I’ve been in the industry for 32 years. So it’s been a long time to get here.
“I see the stock market as a form of independence. I’m definitely not criticizing anyone because they’re amazing people, but Jo Malone, Bobbi Brown, Mac Cosmetics, amazing brands, they had to sell.
“I have this privilege now. We owe it to the team and the industry not to sell. Not that they did anything wrong. But I think we can bring a different point of view by remaining independent.
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