Last week I read on Rati’s Blog about how Westside has closed the Lakme counter in Delhi because of too many complaints from customers.
Yesterday I went to the Westside store in Andheri and found that it had been closed there as well. Apparently because of customer complaints. No one was willing to tell what exactly the issue was, but I am not surprised.
Lakme is a brand our grandmothers & mothers grew up with. There is an innate trust and brand image and a lot of new makeup users as well as those who are conservative tend to drift towards Lakme, as it just feels more familiar and comfortable. Lakme didn’t get you feeling all conscious about being a newbie. And with the introduction of new colors, new products and new textures, Lakme seemed all set to take on the Max factor’s & Maybellines of the world. There was in fact a revival of the lakme.
Unfortunately over the past few months, Lakme seems to have gone horribly wrong. The prices were jacked up tremendously, but the product quality was not improved at all. Prices for almost everything were jacked up. And their products didn’t deliver. It didn’t make sense to stay loyal anymore when you could get better quality for just a few bucks more. Worst of all, for an Indian brand their foundations just suck! They are either too light or too dark, and don’t suit most Indian women. This is a very embarrassing position for Lakme. How can you call yourself an Indian brand if you can’t even get our skin tone right?
I still think that Lakme can achieve a lot more. In the rush to compete with higher end brands, it just jacked up its prices but did little else to bring the quality upto scratch. In India a lot of women go through life with a make routine that falls into either of the two categories
1. Kajal on lower lash line and lip balm on lips
2. Deep maroon matt lipsticks with or without liquid black eyeliner
There is very little use of eyeshadow, mascara, blush, lip gloss, lip tints. Foundation is used in a compact form. It is mostly the city dwelling folks or youngsters who use these products. If Lakme wants it can very well be the pioneer here, it could so easily tap into our rich heritage to come up with products that women will like and find it easier to adapt. One such innovation was the Sindoor it came up with which absolutely brilliant.
This might be a wakeup call for Lakme who I feel have taken us for granted until now. I hope Lakme is able to innovate and tide over this.