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Adore Beauty buys back 25% share from Woolies to harness the potential of being independent

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Less than two years after Woolworths purchased a 25% stake in Adore Beauty, the e-commerce site’s founder and CEO has announced a buy-back, citing a loss of strategic alignment.

Kate Morris, who set up Adore Beauty in Melbourne in 1999, then aged 21, explained that while funding from Woolworths had helped Adore grow by 125% through investment in people, technology, inventory and marketing, the companies’ respective goals and priorities were no longer aligned.

“Our focus now is to keep driving the fantastic momentum that we have, and continue to build Adore Beauty as a disruptive beauty democracy in Australia,” she said in a statement this morning.

“For the business to develop long term, we believe that being an independent company puts us in the best position to take new opportunities and push the next phase of growth. We have parted ways amicably, and remain grateful for the fantastic opportunities the partnership has provided.”

According to Morris, Adore Beauty had experienced impressive growth within the last six months, including an increase in its customer base by 50,000 and an expanded range of over 12,000 beauty products, and is now pushing 60% growth year on year. She said Adore will leverage the success of the past year to reach consumers internationally. Specifically, the company has partnered with e-commerce solutions provider Pitney Bowes to offer beauty products to shoppers in over 200 countries and 64 currencies.

“The partnership will allow us to provide a localised shopping experience, handle payments and ensure that deliveries reach customers efficiently,” she said.

Morris was awarded the Business Innovation Award for Victoria at the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in 2014, and was inducted into the Australian Businesswomen’s Network Hall of Fame in 2015.

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