Lena Korres on her namesake Greek beauty brand Korres

After 26 years in business, the Greek beauty brand Korres has a rich story to tell.

Korres began as a homeopathic herbal remedy brand within a Greek pharmacy founded by George Korres in 1992. The beauty brand was born in 1996 and has since built a portfolio of skin care products, the body care and fragrances. They include basic Greek ingredients such as olive oil, Greek yogurt, white pine, and Assyrtiko, a white grape variety from the Greek island of Santorini.

After first selling via Henri Bendel department store in 2000, Korres was relaunched in the US market in 2018 with a digital-first approach. This followed Morgan Stanley’s $ 56 million investment in Korres in November 2017, enabling the brand to push further into international markets. Most recently, in January 2021, the 26-year-old brand entered Ulta Beauty stores through the retailer’s Conscious Beauty program, following the launch of Ulta.com in December 2020. Korres is also sold by Sephora, HSN and Dermstore,

With Ulta Beauty, the Korres team hopes to reach Gen-Z customers, which is a big goal for the beauty brand. Additionally, Korres plans to start livestream shopping on its e-commerce site DTC in April. The goal is to better control the history of its brand and make people aware of its history as a Greek pharmacy-drugstore brand, focusing on the collection of ingredients within Greece, formulations and in-house productions.

“My vision is not to sit here and tell a story. My vision is to engage people, “said Lena Korres, co-founder of Korres and gm of North America, in the latest episode of the Glossy Beauty podcast.” That’s why live streaming shopping is the ability to show things and introduce people [to Korres] And [let them] ask questions [is important]. That’s where I see our brand heading towards and making a difference ”.

In 2020, Korres earned $ 30 million in U.S. sales and $ 97 million globally. Korres expects to earn $ 120 million in 2021 global sales in a glossy January 2021 story, he said.

Below are excerpts from the conversation, which have been slightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Differences between European and American pharmaceutical beauty brands
“[European pharmacies] they are places you go to to get a curated assortment and personal advice and reliable products that really work because you are, of course, in a pharmacy. We come not only from a pharmacy but from the first homeopathic herbal pharmacy in Greece. What sets our brand apart from other beauty brands is that, before Korres made beauty products, we were making herbal remedies. We have been working with herbal ingredients for many years and we know those ingredients perfectly, [including] how they work in your body and how they translate to your skin.

Because Gen Z is a priority for Korres’ international markets
“Generation Z is a priority for a couple of reasons. Some of our most iconic products, such as our Greek Yogurt [franchise]they are phenomenal for Generation Z and millennial consumers [skin]. I feel a greater responsibility when it comes to younger consumers to show them how to have healthy skin for life. This dates back to [what] Greek beauty [is]: radiant skin because it is healthy skin. Aside from that, our brand and our sustainability footprint – we’ve been a clean brand for 26 years now – are important values ​​to those consumers. It is easier to educate them because if you are used to a specific routine or way of treating your skin, it is sometimes more difficult to change them ”.

Buying ambitions in live streaming
“One of the great things we’re doing this year is our live streaming shopping. We know how to shop in live streaming thanks to our TV [shopping] experience on HSN and QVC. We have the talent in the house, I’m available. We can live stream from our labs and do exciting things. [Livestreams will be on] our website, maybe even on our social networks. I want to show [customers] our production, the recycling laboratory and our wealth of knowledge. With live streaming shopping, I can do it anywhere, anytime. I can take people to see the olive oil harvest on the island of Crete, or they can come to the lab and see the formulations with Greek yogurt.

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