Adore Beauty Founder Buys Back 25% Stake from Woolworths

Kate Morris, founder and chief executive of Adore Beauty, says the decision to buy back the 25 percent stake from Woolworths came after realising that going independent was the best option for Adore Beauty, and moving forward in terms of being able to take up new opportunities and navigate it towards new growth.

“Our visions were no longer aligned, the buyback of shares is a strategic decision to ready Adore Beauty for more growth and further expansion overseas, and to achieve our core objective, to build a disruptive beauty democracy,” says Morris.

Adore Beauty went into partnership with Woolworths in 2015, which Morris says, from a financial perspective, has been beneficial and successful in that it has undoubtedly taken the company to the next level in its stage of growth. “We’d been bootstrapped for 14 years. We’d always been very cash strapped within that time. The goal was really to open it up and see how big it could be,” says Morris.

Woolworths investment has helped grow Adore Beauty by 125 percent in the last two years, by investing in the right people and infrastructure, including marketing and technology, which it didn’t quite have the finances for in the past.

“It’s actually been quite a successful decision in terms of growing the company – and we’ve really found that customers have responded to all the changes that we’ve made and all the improvements we’ve made.”

In terms of alignment and priorities though, Morris says there were some differences between her thinking and that of Woolworths, a synergy that is vital in order for the partnership to work well in the future.

“For a relationship to work long term, you’ve really got to have that strategic alignment, and I guess after some time, and changes for both companies, we felt that probably wasn’t going to be there for the long term.”

“So, we decided to part ways,” says Morris. “It’s been quite amicable.”

In 2016, Adore Beauty has continued to dominate with 60 percent year on year growth, adding 50,000 new customers in the last six months and expanding its product range to over 12,000. In 2017 they are tracking for 80 percent growth compared to this time 2016.

To capitalise on customers strong brand loyalty, they expanded their services, launching the Essentials portfolio, where customers can now shop for their favourite luxury brands alongside affordable brands including Australia’s own ModelCo. The essentials platform was created so that customers can cross shop and buy expensive foundation with affordable mascara.

In January, Adore Beauty partnered with Borderfree, to enable Adore Beauty to expand into 200 new countries in 64 currencies. The company will be focusing on its global growth strategy this year. More to come on Adore Beauty’s e-commerce platform and changes it’s made in the last 12 months that have contributed to its significant growth in 2016.


2 thoughts on “Adore Beauty Founder Buys Back 25% Stake from Woolworths

    • phil1
    • 15th February

    Great first interview! looking forward to more.

    1. Thank you Phil! More to come… stay tuned!


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