Around the table discussion 11th September 2013

Around the Table Discussion 11th September 2013


On Wednesday 11th September, the Beauty Companies Association (BCA) met to discuss a series of beauty topics affecting their businesses and the industry as a whole, over a delicious lunch hosted by David Alpert at the Institute of Anti-ageing. The thought-provoking conversation covered a number of issues affecting the industry and business generally, which included: security of products, tackling unauthorised distributors, staff selling products on eBay and dealing with staff sickness and absenteeism.

Many of the companies attending the luncheon, cited security of Warehouse products as an issue, due to both internal and external forces – who then go on to sell the products illegally via channels such as eBay. Solutions to the issue included random staff/locker searches, inclusion of 24 hour CCTV in the Warehouse, and random periodic stock-checks -- some of the companies do this on a quarterly basis, whilst others ensure this is done daily. The issue of how to deal with employees, who steal products, was raised and whether informing the thefts to the authorities is the correct approach. The majority divulged that they deal with issues internally, as this sort of matter is usually treated as a slap-on-the-wrist offence by the police.

The topic of conversation then diversified to discussing how the internet provides an easy selling strategy for illegal distribution, which is incredibly difficult to control. Sites including eBay and Amazon make it easy for sellers to copy listings, and sell stolen or counterfeit goods. One company who attended the luncheon admitted that only 9 of their 29 online stockists are legitimate. A solution was brought to the table, which involved investing in the services of companies such as Steve Baker’s IPMS, who seek out counterfeit products for clients, and ensure prosecutions are carried out on those who produce and distribute such goods.

Chairman of the BCA Dean Nathanson, offers his thoughts on the luncheon, “By sharing business know how, experience and knowledge; BCA members are able to help one another overcome common pitfalls and challenges for the betterment of their individual respective businesses, but also for the improvement of the beauty industry as a whole”