Woolworths Buys Minority Stake In Adore Beauty

By Grant Arnott | 15 May 2015

Australian pureplay online retailer Adore Beauty has secured a major investor, with Woolworths Limited acquiring a minority shareholding this week.

Woolworths Limited (No. 1 in Power Retail’s 2015 Top 100 online retailers) has acquired a 25 percent stake in Adore Beauty (No. 71 in the Top 100 for 2015) . The rest of the business is retained by the founders, with Adore Beauty to continue operations as normal with its current branding.

The deal was a little over 12 months in the making, and Adore Beauty founder and CEO Kate Morris says that an introduction via a mutual acquaintance was the catalyst for the businesses coming together. For Ms Morris, the partnership with Woolworths represents an opportunity to tap the scale, experience and resources of the Woolworths group of companies, whilst still focusing on the principles that have guided the successful organic growth of Adore Beauty.

Kate Morris, Adore Beauty

Kate Morris, Founder and CEO of Adore Beauty and Findation

“After 15 years of self-funding and tripling in size over the last three years, we’re now taking the next step in our incredible growth journey,” said Morris. “This investment will strengthen and cement our position as Australia’s leading premium beauty e-tailer. I’m very excited about the possibilities it brings.

“Adore Beauty now has access to the resources needed to grow to its full potential: the leading online retail destination for premium beauty. As a proudly Australian-owned business, I am particularly passionate about winning back Australian customers who may previously been shopping offshore.”

The sum of the investment is undisclosed, and Morris would not be drawn on the figure.

Emily Amos, General Manager, Woolworths Marketplace said: “We are pleased to be able to support a growing and innovative Australian online retailer like Adore Beauty in a channel that is traditionally held by international players. We believe Adore will achieve its ambition of being the number one online premium beauty retailer in Australia.”

Adore Beauty now stocks more than 5,500 products from 140 authorised brands, including Clinique, Lancôme, Kérastase, Jurlique, Dermalogica, and Benefit. The site offers free shipping on orders within Australia.

Adore Beauty has also been scooping up accolades, making the 2014 lists for the Deloitte Asia Pacific Tech Fast 500, Deloitte Tech Fast 50 Australia, and SmartCompany Smart 50. Kate was also awarded the Telstra Business Women’s Award for Innovation in 2014, and was recently inducted into the Australian Businesswomen’s Network Hall of Fame.

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