Crabtree & Evelyn plans more Asian outlets

CRABTREE & Evelyn Ltd has allocated up to US$5 million (RM15.15 million) to open up some 20 outlets in Asia this year.

Crabtree & Evelyn chief executive officer and brand guardian Puan Sri Datuk Sandra Lee expressed optimism that the global economy will continue to grow at sustained pace, having weathered a downturn two years ago.

"We see huge market potential for Crabtree & Evelyn in China, India and Indonesia. We want to leverage on these opportunities," Lee said in an interview with Business Times in Kuala Lumpur.

"We've set aside up to US$5 million in capital expenditure for new stores. Whether it will be 10 or 20 stores ... it really depends on us getting the right location and at the right (rental) rates," she added.

The multinational company, which has half of its 452 outlets in Asia, benefited from the robust economic growth in this part of the world. For the year ended September 2010, it posted US$8.4 million in pre-tax profits.

An innovative marketeer, Lee sporadically holds interactive events where guests and celebrities can sample Crabtree & Evelyn products in a luxury setting of the world's finest hotels like Kuala Lumpur's Carcosa Seri Negara.

Yesterday, Lee introduced Crabtree & Evelyn's expanded range of soliflores titled the Floral Fragrance Collection. They were Rosewater, Lavender and Lily, following last year's encouraging debut of Iris. These pampering accoutrement look refreshing in their new packaging. Uniquely painted with dainty dabs of watercolour flowers, the flacons make beautiful collectibles.

A pioneer in botanical formulations for over three decades, Crabtree & Evelyn is present in more than 40 countries, with over 6,000 locations and 450 outlets worldwide. Although it was founded in the US, Crabtree & Evelyn has always been distinctly English in its concept.

Owned by Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd since 1996, the management has stayed true to Crabtree & Evelyn's founding principles of holistic luxury goods made from natural ingredients.

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