Back to its Origins

American beauty brand Origins has angered its customers here with its decision to leave Australian and New Zealand department stores, due to the economic climate…

American beauty brand Origins has angered its customers with its decision to leave Australian and New Zealand department stores.

Origins products were environmentally friendly, were made from natural ingredients, not tested on animals and had recyclable packaging. A company spokesperson said the decision of New York-based Origins to leave Australian and New Zealand markets was due to a bad economic environment.

“Considering the adverse economic and retail environment, and the significant investment required to position the brand for growth, it is necessary to withdraw from the current business model.”

Origins will exit stores on June 30, but intends to rejoin the market in the future, the spokesperson said.

“The brand will explore alternative options to maintain a presence in Australia and New Zealand, to continue servicing the many loyal customers that have supported and enjoyed Origins.”

Loyal customer Emma Hunter said Origins was irreplaceable.

“Origins really is in a market of its own, and its departure will leave a gaping hole in the skincare options offered throughout Australia and New Zealand,” she said.

Customer Rebecca Wekking was frustrated by Origins leaving New Zealand stores.

“I am quite annoyed, as I got really hooked and reliant on the products. It took me a long time to find a skincare line that did not upset my skin; and now that I have finally found it, it is going,” she said.

She felt sympathetic towards Origins employees.

“I feel terrible for the lovely Origins guides who have lost their jobs.”

New Zealand Origins brand manager, Rachael Burkhardt, said customers would still be able to buy Origins products from the DFS Galleria in Auckland.

“It will remain at DFS (because) travel retail is a separate division of Estée Lauder companies,” she said. Travel retail was the environment in which products were sold to cater to travellers, such as duty-free shops at airports. Ms Wekking hoped Origins would return to stores in a better financial climate.

Cerisse Denhardt, May 2009


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