Croatian Market Welcomes Spanish Cosmetic Brand Equivalenza

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the largest Spanish cosmetics brand, Equivalenza, has arrived on the Croatian market as a huge chain with more than 700 stores worldwide. Their philosophy is based on sustainability and the availability of premium fragrances and cosmetic products at very fair, affordable prices, with the belief that fragrances can change both mood and ambience.

The first Croatian Equivalenza store was opened last week in the heart of the City of Zagreb, thanks to Igor Drandic and Iva Mihelic Drandic, whose company Bolji miris (a better scent) became the master franchisor of this brand for the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian market through their purchase of the franchise from the Spaniards, with the help of the Colak Franchize Consulting Group.

Reusable bottles

Igor Drandic, a banker by trade, entered this project with his wife Iva who has previous entrepreneurial experience as the owner of a store with clothing by local designers that was closed during the coronavirus crisis, so for Iva, this is represents a very much desired return to private business.

“Given that we already had experience, and as a banker I take numbers very seriously, we had very specific requirements regarding our future project. We decided to buy a franchise because it’s already an elaborate and well-established business. We were looking for something that doesn’t require a large office space and doesn’t have many high fixed costs, nor does it have many employees considering the lack of personnel available on the Croatian labour market. We were encouraged by the fact that Equivalenza has more than 700 facilities across the world already,” explained Igor Drandic, who didn’t reveal the amount of the total investment.

Equivalenza was otherwise founded back in 2011 with the aim of making high-quality fragrances available to everyone at affordable prices, and the prices are lower because there is no branding of the products themselves, nor is there any on the packaging, there are also no middlemen or intermediaries in the sales process because the deliveries go out directly from the factory itself.

As Iva Mihelic Drandic, the company’s director, explained, Equivalenza’s business model is based on the reuse of glass bottles. Their fragrances are aged for 27 days, and the assortment is based on emotions, and through four lines that represent different states and emotions, along with perfumes, products for body care and creating an ambiance in the home and car have been introduced. The idea is that perfume and face cream, shower gel and body lotion, and oil poured into a diffuser can all have the same scent.

Equivalenza is known as a brand with many loyal customers who return regularly to refill their bottles. In addition to taking care of the environment, they pay attention to social responsibility.

The dilemma between opening a store in a large shopping centre and in the heart of the city centre itself is resolved in favour of the centre of Zagreb, partly due to the uniform traffic throughout the week, while the peak in shopping centres takes place on on weekends, when it is also very crowded. According to the couple who have brought the Spanish franchise to the Croatian market, this would be burdensome for numerous people.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.


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