P&G Co-develops Skincare Brand With Retailer for First Time

Lisa Johnston
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Aio P&G interior
The Aio brand marks P&G's first co-launch of a skincare brand with a retailer.

Procter & Gamble is growing its beauty and haircare reach, co-launching a new skincare brand with international health and beauty retail giant A.S. Watson Group and signing an agreement to acquire Ouai, the U.S. brand owned by celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkins.

The Watson partnership marks the first time P&G’s beauty business has collaborated with a retailer to co-create a new skincare brand from scratch, said Markus Strobel, P&G skin and personal care global president, in a statement, calling it “the future of retailing and skin care.”

The two companies are introducing the Aio brand in Watsons stores and online in the Greater China markets. Geared toward both digitally-and sustainably minded Gen Z-ers and millennials, Aio features recyclable packaging and will be sold within Watson’s Sustainable Choices category.

[See also: P&G’s Latest Packaging Twist]

Strobel noted that the brand is positioned to generate a larger proportion of sales from online channels. Malina Ngai, CEO of A.S. Watson (Asia and Europe) and group COO, echoed this, noting its “O+O (Offline plus Online)” platforms and customer insights will help Aio to open new markets.

A.S. Watson Group, which recorded revenue of $20.6 billion in fiscal 2020, operates more than 16,200 stores under 12 retail brands in 29 markets, including more than 9,500 Watsons stores and pharmacies. It’s also a member of the CK Hutchison Holdings Limited international conglomerate.

Financial terms were not revealed in the Ouai deal. Initially a haircare brand, Ouai now sell body care, fragrance and other personal products and is expected to generate $50 million in sales in 2021.

Procter & Gamble is the No. 2 publicly owned consumer goods company.

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