Remember when Crabtree & Evelyn announced it was closing all its stores here in January this year and everyone flocked to grab body washes and hand creams on massive discounts? The last store shuttered at Paragon in end January, and with an announcement that it was moving operations online, the brand went quiet.
8days.sg just received a press release from the ‘new’ Crabtree & Evelyn, and boy, we barely recognise it. Yes, it’s still called Crabtree & Evelyn, but gone is the brand’s signature flowery packaging and quaint English rose garden vibe. In its place are products with minimalist packaging and clean lines, and marketing visuals featuring Millennials with nose piercings and tattoos and not a bottle of body lotion in sight.
It seems like a huge departure from the brand founded in 1972 by “wanderlust and nature enthusiast, Cyrus Harvey”, which has relied heavily on its legacy as an English-styled bath and body brand. Its original founder sold the business decades ago, and it’s currently owned by Hong Kong investment holding company Nan Hai Corporation, who handled the store closures earlier this year and is currently re-launching the brand here and internationally. It seems the closures were to allow the brand to lick its business wounds and come back with a vengeance.
But don’t worry, there’s a still a strong English connection — C&E’s global team sits in London, and the branding is still inspired by founder Cyrus Harvey’s “values of travel, connection and curation”, which have “never been more important or relevant to the world.” The new brand message? “Born Curious. Grown Wild.” Very… edgy. Will this appeal to Millennials, which are obviously now the brand’s target audience? Will they buy into a label that used to be traditional and now retains some of that brand legacy while pursuing new and hipper values?
Will the products retain the brand’s signature scents and textures, or will they be similarly rebranded into something completely different? We’ll let you know when we get our hands on a revamped hand cream. Meanwhile, here are some beautiful visuals and cool products to feast your eyes on.