Etailer Feelunique.com is gunning to become the “household name for beauty products” as it lays out its growth strategy for the next five years.
Feelunique, which also operates two spas and one boutique, is seeking a “high-profile” retail expert to sit on its board and help drive its growth plans, and is in talks with a small investment bank specialising in etail about representing it.
Rival Lookfantastic.com is also looking for growth after being sold in a £19.4m deal to The Hut Group on Tuesday. As part of the deal, chief executive Daniel Crown will join The Hut Group’s board to grow the business. The acquisition was funded via an institutional funding from existing shareholders including ex-Matalan boss Angus Monro.
Feelunique chief executive Aaron Chatterley said: “We are keen to keep an eye on our strategic options to see if there are any partnership opportunities that could help us achieve our goals of becoming a household name faster.”
Chatterley said the etailer aims to become better known by introducing new brands, further marketing and advertising, and possible store expansion. Feelunique’s USP is its free delivery and no minimum order policy that “puts us ahead of competition”, he added.
The etailer reported turnover of £11m and profit after tax of £575,000 in the year to the end of March and this year expects up to £20m turnover, with profits in the region of £800,000 to £1.1m.
Chatterley said: “There isn’t anyone that dominates the online space in terms of beauty in the same way that, for example, Amazon dominates books, and we want to achieve that.”
Feelunique, which was set up in October 2005, carries 12,000 product lines and about 400 brands including Clarins, Elemis and Elizabeth Arden. It also has two spas and a boutique. It will consider opening a boutique in central London.
Feelunique was set up by Chatterley, who formerly ran a web development company, and Richard Schiessl, whose background is in finance. The pair invested £35,000 each and the etailer became profitable after 18 months.
Lookfantastic was born out of the Crown’s Salon Group, a Sussex-based business that started in 1978 predominantly in the hair industry.