Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2005 (Revised February 2006)

L'Oreal and the Globalization of American Beauty

by Geoffrey G. Jones, David Kiron, Vincent Dessain and Anders Sjoman

Abstract

Examines L'Oreal's acquisition of leading U.S. cosmetics brands, including Maybelline, Redken, and Kiehl's, and their subsequent renewal and globalization. Reviews the history of L'Oreal, now the world's largest cosmetics company, from its origins in France in 1907. The company entered the United States in 1953, and from 1990, expanded rapidly with the acquisition of U.S. brands, which were renewed and then taken international. Focuses on Kiehl's--since 1851, a quirky New York luxury brand--which L'Oreal acquired in 2000 and is now expanding globally. Shows how L'Oreal developed a portfolio of U.S. and European brands that are now sold globally. Explores the corporate strategy and marketing challenges facing consumer products firms as they globalize and how acquisitions can facilitate globalization.

Keywords: Management; Corporate Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Brands and Branding; Business History; Globalization; Acquisition; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Consumer Products Industry; France; United States;

Citation:

Jones, Geoffrey G., David Kiron, Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman. "L'Oreal and the Globalization of American Beauty." Harvard Business School Case 805-086, April 2005. (Revised February 2006.)