Douglas GmbH is a German perfume and cosmetics retailer based in Hagen. Douglas offers approx. 35,000 products in more than 1,900 stores and franchised outlets in 19 European countries: Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Monaco, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia, Norway and France (where Douglas operates under its Nocibé brand).
The roots of the company date back to 1821, when the perfume and soap factory J.S. Douglas Söhne was founded in Hamburg. In 1863, the first Christ subsidiary was founded. In 1910, the first Douglas perfumery was opened in Hamburg. The actual predecessor of the Douglas Holding AG, the Hussel Süßwarenfilialbetrieb GmbH, was founded in 1949 and transformed into a joint stock company in 1962. In 1969 it acquired the Parfümerie Douglas, which soon became the main pillar of the corporation, which became known as Hussel Holding AG in 1976. In 1989, the company changed its name to Douglas Holding AG.
In December 2012, Advent International led a public-to-private buyout of Douglas in a deal worth 1.5 billion euros. The Kreke family that founded Douglas retained a twenty percent stake in the company.
Advent International refocused Douglas on its primary perfume and cosmetics lines, spinning off the company's other brands: Confectioner Hussel was sold to Emeram Capital Partners in March 2014. Jewelry retailer Christ was sold to 3i Group in October 2014. Womanswear retailer AppelrathCüpper was sold to OpCapita in May 2016. Book retailer Thalia was sold to the Herder family, a German family of publishers, in July 2016.