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Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 8:30:18 AM
by samuel ong
Lim has grown the Lampe Berger Malaysia business beyond her expectations and is looking to grow around the region.
A STRONG focus on products has brought Julie Lim much success with Lampe Berger.
The chief executive officer of Jubilant Prestige Sdn Bhd, sole distributor of Lampe Berger Paris products in Malaysia, is satisfied at how the brand has grown its reach in the local market. But Lim believes this is just the beginning.
Lampe Berger is a maker of fragrance lamps, also known as perfume or effusion lamps, and luxury fragrances. The lamps were invented by Maurice Berger in the late 1890s to purify the air in hospital wards.
Previously, Lampe Berger products were marketed locally under a multi-level marketing scheme, which saw product prices shooting through the roof. Back then, the lamps were going for a minimum of RM600 each and those in the collectors’ range were sold at nothing less than RM10,000.
But even then, Lim said, the products were doing well and managed to build a strong following and clientele here thanks to their catalytic diffusion system, which makes it one of the best indoor air purification and home fragrancing products.
“There is a ready market. I myself was a user back then and it worked really well in purifying the air around us. And we were always looking for a supply of oils,” she said.
Lim took over the local distributorship in June last year after she was approached by business partners who were previously involved with the brand.
“I thought the idea was great and the potential was there. When the scheme was still around, the focus was more on the scheme rather than the product. But now, we are focusing more on the product.
“It is about believing in the product and knowing its quality and functionality,” she added.
Lim’s investment has certainly borne fruit as the business has exceeded her expectations.
In one year, Lampe Berger has opened 12 stores in Malaysia, through master dealers, and recorded average annual turnover of more than RM7.2mil.
Lim expects to have 20 stores by June next year, with a total turnover of RM1mil a month.
Currently, Lampe Berger has a presence in several shopping complexes, including Bangsar Shopping Centre, Pavilion KL, Mid Valley Megamall, as well as stores in Malacca, Penang, Johor and Sarawak.
Its lamps retail at a of minimum RM198 each while collector’s pieces start from RM2,000. The essential oils are sold at RM138 per one-litre bottle.
Lampe Berger has up to 44 different kinds of organic essential oils, which the company says has various properties and therapeutic benefits to improve one’s physical condition.
For example, the lavender oil is thought to alleviate insomnia, while sandalwood enhances calmness and eucalyptus aids respiratory problems.
In the short term, Lim aims to to recruit more master dealers to establish a Lampe Berger store in every major shopping mall in the Klang Valley, and to encourage master dealers to grow their own network into smaller malls.
Lim has also ventured into neighbouring countries with a Lampe Berger store each in Brunei and Singapore. Another store will be opened this month at the Siam Discovery mall in Bangkok, Thailand. She is also considering a store in the Siam Paragon mall, soon.
“We aim to have 10 stores in Bangkok over the next year, and we are looking at appointing dealers for locations in Thailand outside of Bangkok,” she said.
“It used to be a luxury product. But now, it is a consumer product that is affordable and approachable. It is suitable for all ages and for multiple functions,” Lim added.
In conjunction with its first-year anniversary in retail, Lampe Berger launched its Breast Cancer Support Initiative by pledging portions of its sales towards the cause.
From now until July 8 next year, every lamp and bottle of oil sold will contribute RM10 and RM1, respectively, to the cause.
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