SuperOrdinary Plots US Expansion and New M&A Strategy

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The Shanghai-based beauty incubator and distributor is upping investments in budding labels, and partnering with Amazon to help its roster of direct-to-consumer brands master selling on the e-commerce platform. SuperOrdinary will implement an M&A strategy of “acquiring brands to optimise marketing, infrastructure and scale on a global level,” which it hopes will set the foundation for its ambitions of becoming “the industry’s most powerful conglomerate” that competes with the likes of LVMH.

The company is doubling down on hiring and investing in new brands, as well, such as David Yi’s gender-fluid beauty brand Good Light and makeup artist Violette Serrat’s eponymous clean cosmetics label. SuperOrdinary expects its US team to double by the end of the year, and has already hired several new executives, including a global president and chief brand officer in beauty industry veteran Maureen Case (formerly of La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Violet Grey and Augustinus Bader), and chief marketing officer Allie Francis who joins from Supergoop.

Aiming to replicate its success in China on platforms like Alibaba’s T-Mall, SuperOrdinary will establish a new Amazon management team which will be led by chief operating officer Steve Strong and vice president of client services Amanda Gordon Hinshaw. Both Strong and Hinshaw have most recently worked at Quivver — one of Amazon’s largest third-party beauty sellers.

DTC beauty has long been slow to embrace Amazon’s marketplace — which is teeming with unauthorised third-party sellers and counterfeits and has a hard-to-crack search engine. But SuperOrdinary sees working with Amazon as inevitable. The company — which received an investment from growth equity firm Alliance Consumer Growth in January — will begin its domestic expansion by managing the Amazon presence of brands Joanna Vargas, Biossance, Dr. Brandt and Archipelago Botanicals.

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