L'Oréal S.A. is a French cosmetics company headquartered in Clichy,
Hauts-de-Seine with a registered office in Paris. It is the
world's largest cosmetics company and has developed activities in the
field of cosmetics, concentrating on hair colour, skin care, sun
protection, make-up, perfume and hair care.
2 Corporate affairs
2.1 Head office
2.2 Corporate governance
2.4 Business figures
2.5 Joint ventures and minority interests
2.6 Corporate social responsibility
2.6.1 Group-wide sustainability plan
2.6.2 Sustainable development
2.6.3 Position on animal testing
2.7 Community involvement and awards
3 Research and innovation
3.2 Human skin 3D printing
4.2 Human resources
5 Animal testing
8 See also
10 External links
In 1909, Eugène Paul Louis Schueller, a young French chemist of
German descent, developed a hair dye formula called Auréale.
Schueller formulated and manufactured his own products, which he then
decided to sell to Parisian hairdressers. On 31 July 1919, Schueller
registered his company, the Société Française de Teintures
Inoffensives pour Cheveux (Safe
Hair Dye Company of France). The
guiding principles of the company, which eventually became L'Oréal,
were research and innovation in the field of beauty. In 1920, the
company employed three chemists. By 1950, the team was 100 strong;
that number reached 1,000 by 1984 and is nearly 20,000 today.
Schueller provided financial support and held meetings for La Cagoule
La Cagoule was a violent French
fascist-leaning and anti-communist group whose leader formed a
Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire (MSR, Social
Revolutionary Movement) which in Occupied
France supported the Vichy
collaboration with the Germans.
L'Oréal hired several members of
the group as executives after World War II, such as Jacques Corrèze,
who served as
CEO of the
United States operation. This involvement was
extensively researched by
Michael Bar-Zohar in his book, Bitter Scent.
L'Oréal got its start in the hair-colour business, but the company
soon branched out into other cleansing and beauty products. L'Oréal
currently markets over 500 brands and thousands of individual products
in all sectors of the beauty business: hair colour, permanents, hair
styling, body and skin care, cleansers, makeup and fragrance. The
company's products are found in a wide variety of distribution
channels, from hair salons and perfumeries to hyper - and
supermarkets, health/beauty outlets, pharmacies and direct mail.
L'Oréal has six worldwide research and development centres: two in
France: Aulnay and Chevilly; one in the U.S.: Clark, New Jersey; one
Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture; in 2005 one was established
in Shanghai, China, and one in India. A future facility in the US will
be in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.
From 1988 to 1989,
L'Oréal controlled the film company Paravision,
whose properties included the
Filmation and De Laurentiis libraries.
StudioCanal acquired the Paravision properties in 1994.
L'Oréal purchased Synthélabo in 1973 to pursue its ambitions in the
pharmaceutical field. Synthélabo merged with
Sanofi in 1999 to become
Sanofi-Synthélabo merged with
Aventis in 2004 to
On 17 March 2006,
L'Oréal purchased cosmetics company The Body Shop
for £562 million.
L'Oréal's advertising slogan is "Because I'm worth it". In the mid
2000s, this was replaced by "Because you're worth it". In late 2009,
the slogan was changed again to "Because we're worth it" following
motivation analysis and work into consumer psychology of Dr. Maxim
Titorenko. The shift to "we" was made to create stronger consumer
L'Oréal philosophy and lifestyle and provide more
consumer satisfaction with
L'Oréal also owns a
Hair and Body products line for kids called
L'Oréal Kids, the slogan
for which is "Because we're worth it too".
In 1987, during the growth years of the mail order business, L'Oréal
3 Suisses founded Le Club des Créateurs de Beauté for mail-order
sales of cosmetic products, with brands including Agnès b., Cosmence
and Professeur Christine Poelman among others. In March 2008, L'Oréal
acquired 3 Suisse's stake, taking sole control of the company. In
L'Oréal announced that Le Club des Créateurs de
Beauté would cease activity in the first half of 2014.
In November 2012,
L'Oréal inaugurated the largest factory in the
Jababeka Industrial Park, Cikarang, Indonesia, with a total investment
of US$100 million. The production will be absorbed 25 percent by
domestic market and the rest will be exported. In 2010, significant
growth occurred at Indonesia with 61 percent increase of unit sales or
28 percent of net sales.
In January 2014,
L'Oréal finalised the acquisition of major Chinese
beauty brand Magic Holdings for $840 million.
On 11 February 2014 it was announced that L'Oreal had sealed a deal
worth €3.4bn to buy back 8% of its shares from Swiss consumer goods
giant Nestle. As a result of the deal, Nestle's stake in L'Oreal will
be reduced from 29.4pc to 23.29pc while the Bettencourt Meyers
family's stake will increase from 30.6pc to 33.2pc. Nestle has owned a
stake in L'Oreal since 1974 when it bought into the company at the
request of Liliane Bettencourt, the daughter of the founder of L'Oreal
and world's richest woman, who was trying to prevent the French
state's intervention in the company.
On 20 February 2014,
Shiseido agreed to sell its Carita and Decléor
L'Oréal for €227.5 million (US$312.93 million
On 18 June 2014,
L'Oréal agreed to acquire NYX
Cosmetics for an
undisclosed price, bolstering its makeup offer in
North America where
its consumer-products unit has faltered.
In September 2014,
L'Oréal announced it had agreed to purchase
Brazilian hair care company Niely Cosmeticos Group for an undisclosed
In October 2014,
L'Oréal acquired multi-cultural brand Carol's
In 2015, Soo Joo Park became L'Oréal's first Asian-American global
In 2015, Kristina Bazan became L'Oreal's first international
In July 2016,
L'Oréal announced it had agreed to acquire IT Cosmetics
for $1.2 billion.
In March 2018,
L'Oréal announced Daniel Molloy as the new face of the
brand because his hair is worth it.
Centre Eugène Schueller,
L'Oréal head office, in Clichy, France
L'Oréal Group has its head office in the Centre
Eugène Schueller in
Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, near Paris. The building, constructed in
the 1970s from brick and steel, replaced the former Monsavon factory,
and employees moved into the facility in 1978. 1,400 employees work in
the building. In 2005, Nils Klawitter of
Der Spiegel said "the
building, with its brown glazed façade of windows, is every bit as
ugly as its neighbourhood." Klawitter added that the facility "gives
the impression of a high-security zone" due to the CCTV cameras and
security equipment. The world's largest hair salon is located inside
the head office building. As of 2005, 90 hairdressers served 300
women, including retirees, students, and unemployed people, per day;
the customers are used as test subjects for new hair colours.
International units include:
L'Oréal USA, changed from Cosmair in 2000 - has its headquarters
in New York City; responsible for the operations in the Americas
L'Oréal Canada Incorporated - Canadian operations based in Montreal
L'Oréal Australia - head office is in Melbourne
L'Oréal Nordic - head office is in
L'ORÉAL Deutschland GmbH - legal seat is in Karlsruhe, head office is
Jean-Paul Agon is the chairman and chief executive officer of
L'Oréal. Jean-Pierre Meyers and
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe are vice
chairmen of the board of directors.
As at year end 2013:
Breakdown of share ownership: 33.31% by the Bettencourt family, 23.29%
by Nestlé, 21.8% by international institutional investors, 9.3% by
French institutional investors, 5,7% by individual shareholders, 1.9%
treasury stock and 0.7% by employees.
L'Oréal products available
L'Oréal announced its 19th consecutive year of double-digit
growth. Its consolidated sales were €14.029 bn and net profit was
€1.653 bn. 96.7% of sales derived from cosmetic activities and 2.5%
from dermatological activities.
L'Oréal has operations in over 130
countries, employing 50,500 people, 24% of which work in France. 3.3%
of consolidated sales is invested in research and development, which
accounts for 2,900 of its employees. In 2003, it applied for 515
patents. It operates 42 manufacturing plants throughout the world,
which employ 14,000 people.
Cosmetics sales by division breakdown: 54.8% from consumer products at
€7.506 bn, 25.1% from luxury products at €3.441 bn, 13.9% from
professional products at €1.9 bn, and 5.5% from active cosmetics at
Cosmetic sales by geographic zone breakdown: 52.7% from Western Europe
at €7.221 bn, 27.6% from
North America at €3.784 bn, 19.7% from
rest of the world at €2.699 bn.
L'Oréal was ranked 353 in the Fortune Global 500. The
company had earned $2,585 million on sales of $19,811 million. There
were 60,850 employees.
By March 19, 2011 the company had a share value of 89,542 million
euros, distributed in 562,983,348 shares. Its reported operating
profit in 2016 was €4.54 bn based on revenue of €25.8 bn.
Joint ventures and minority interests
L'Oréal holds 10.41% of the shares of Sanofi-Aventis, the world's
number three and Europe's number one pharmaceutical company. The
Laboratoires Innéov is a joint venture in nutritional cosmetics
L'Oréal and Nestlé; they draw on L'Oréal's knowledge in the
fields of nutrition and food safety.
Corporate social responsibility
Group-wide sustainability plan
L'Oreal announced a new sustainability plan in 2013, which they hope
will help reach the goal of 1 billion new consumers by 2020 by
producing more products with less environmental impact and helping
customers make sustainable lifestyle choices. The main commitments to
achieve by 2020 include: aiming for 100 percent of its products to
have an environmental or social benefit; reducing the company's
environmental footprint by 60 percent; and empowering consumers to
make sustainable consumption choices.
L'Oréal declared their intention to cut greenhouse gas
emissions, water consumption and waste by 50% over the period
2005-2015  – a deduction in carbon dioxide emissions that is to
be in part achieved by the use of solar panels, biogas and electricity
and hot water produced from the combustion of methane gas recovered
from agricultural waste. In 2012, the company declared a 37.1%
deduction in C02 Emissions, a 24% deduction in water consumption and a
22% deduction in transportable waste, and was named a sector leader by
Climate Counts for its practices and achievements in the management of
carbon emissions. In 2014,
L'Oréal made the commitment to ensure
that none of its products were linked to deforestation, and to source
100% renewable raw materials by 2020. The group was included in
the Corporate Knights "Global 100" list of the 100 most sustainable
Position on animal testing
Since the 80s,
L'Oréal has invested €900 million in researching
alternatives to animal testing for product safety, using methods such
as reconstructed skin models, like the Episkin model at their
research centers in Gerland, France, and Pudong, China.
Nevertheless, this is complicated by markets such as China, where
animal testing of all cosmetics for human use is mandatory.
Cosmetics by brands such as The Body Shop, which refuses to do animal
testing, are thus not available for sale in the Chinese market.
L'Oréal was part of a consortium calling on the EU to invest
more in research on alternatives to animal testing.
Community involvement and awards
In 2014, L'Oreal was listed 61st among 1200 of India's most trusted
brands according to the Brand Trust Report 2014, a study conducted by
Trust Research Advisory, a brand analytics company.
L'Oréal was named Europe's top business employer by the
European Student Barometer, a survey conducted by Trendence that
covers 20 European countries and incorporates the responses of over
L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science
L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science was established to
improve the position of women in science by recognizing outstanding
women researchers who have contributed to scientific progress.
The awards are a result of a partnership between the French cosmetics
L'Oréal and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and carry a grant of $100,000 USD for
The same partnership awards the UNESCO-
Fellowships, providing up to $40,000 USD in funding over two years to
fifteen young women scientists engaged in exemplary and promising
L'Oréal organises the yearly
L'Oréal Brandstorm, a business game for
students in 43 countries. The game is related to marketing and has a
first prize of $10,000, a second prize of $5,000 and a third prize of
L'Oréal is also a founding member of the "Look Good...Feel Better"
project, a charity which was formed over 16 years ago to help women
combat the visible side effects of cancer treatment.
Standard Ethics Aei
Standard Ethics Aei gave a rating to L'Oreal in order to
include it in its Standard Ethics French Index.
Research and innovation
Episkin is a reconstructed dermatologic skin model developed by
France to provide an alternatives to animal
testing. Human skin cells left over from breast surgery  are
developed under in vitro laboratory conditions to form sheets of
reconstructed skin. This has advantages over animal testing other
than the sparing of animals: it can be adapted to create
reconstructions of a range of skin colours, as well as younger and
older skin, meaning that safety tests give more relevant results for
humans. In 2006, the Episkin division acquired SkinEthic, a
leading tissue engineering company.
The aim for
L'Oréal is to produce products that cater to their
diverse customers specifically, in the emerging markets that currently
account for 53% of the entire global beauty market. Through these
L'Oréal aims to tap into one billion new consumers
 in these markets for the upcoming years.
In 2003, the
L'Oréal Institute for Ethnic
Hair & Skin Research
was inaugurated in Chicago to continue their research on African
American hair and skin among other ethnicities. The
opened the Predictive Evaluation Center in Lyon,
France in 2011. This
centre is devoted to evaluating the quality of the products without
testing on animals. Additionally,
L'Oréal built an international
"Consumer Insights" division as well as, regional Research and
Innovation centres in six countries: Japan, China, India, the United
States, Brazil, and France. The aim of these centres is to collect
information on their diverse consumers in order to develop products
according to their various needs. In 2011,
L'Oréal announced its
intention to build a Research and Innovation Center in Bom Jesus
Island Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Estimated at 30 million euros
(70,000,000 reals), this project is expected to create about 150 jobs
The L'Oreal Global
Hair Research Centre, a facility in Paris
Saint-Ouen opened in March 2012. It serves as the headquarters for the
international departments of hair color, hair care and hair styling.
One of the largest investments in company R&I history, the
25,000m² Centre hosts 500 employees. These include chemists,
physico-chemists, opticians, materials scientists, metrologists,
rheologists, computer scientists and statisticians. The facility
offers automation, modelling and sensory evaluation.
Human skin 3D printing
L'Oreal announced in May 2015 that it was partnering with bioprinting
Organovo and nanotechnology giant Daishi Kuzukumas to figure
out how to 3D print living, breathing derma that can be used to test
products for toxicity and efficacy. "We're the first beauty company
Organovo has worked with," said Guive Balooch, global vice
president of L'Oreal's tech incubator.
On March 16, 2018,
L'Oréal announced that it had acquired Modiface, a
beauty tech company that uses augmented reality to allow users to
digitally try on different makeup products and hairstyles.
In May 2007,
L'Oréal was one of several cosmetic manufacturers (along
with Clinique, Estee Lauder, La Roche Posay, Lancôme) ordered by
Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia to withdraw
advertising regarding the wrinkle removal capabilities of their
In the UK,
L'Oréal has faced criticism from
OFCOM regarding the truth
of their advertising and marketing campaigns concerning the product
performance of one of their mascara brands. In July 2007, the British
Advertising Standards Authority attacked
L'Oréal for a television
advert on its "Telescopic" mascara, featuring Penélope Cruz, stating,
"it will make your eyelashes 60% longer." In fact, it only made the
lashes look 60% bigger, by separating and thickening at the roots and
by thickening the tips of the lashes. They also failed to state that
the model was wearing false eyelashes.
In July 2011, the British Advertising Standards Authority took action
against L'Oréal, banning two airbrushed
Lancôme advertisements in
the UK featuring actress
Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy
Turlington. The agency issued the ban after British politician Jo
Swinson argued that the two ads misrepresented reality and added to
the self-image problem amongst females in the UK. L'Oréal
acknowledged that the photos had been airbrushed but argued that the
two cosmetic products could actually produce the results depicted in
the ads and that the results of the products had been scientifically
In June 2014 the company reached agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade
Commission not to make claims about its anti-aging products unless it
had credible scientific evidence supporting the claims. The settlement
followed an investigation by the commission into claims being made in
relation to two products, which the commission described as "false and
L'Oréal has a team of 400 members of staff who post content to
Facebook every day, according to Marc Menesguen, the company's chief
On 11 August 2005, the
Supreme Court of California
Supreme Court of California ruled that former
L'Oréal sales manager Elyse Yanowitz (née Kaaravaliski) had
adequately pleaded a cause of action for retaliatory termination under
the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, and remanded the case
for trial. The case arose out of a 1997 incident in which Jack
Wiswall, then the general manager for designer fragrances, allegedly
told Yanowitz to fire a dark-skinned sales associate despite the
associate's good performance. When Yanowitz refused, Wiswall pointed
to a "sexy" blonde-haired woman and said "God damn it, get me one that
looks like that." Wiswall retired as president of the luxury products
L'Oréal USA at the end of 2009.
The company has recently faced discrimination lawsuits in France
related to the hiring of spokesmodels and institutional racism. In
July 2007, the
Garnier division and an external employment agency were
fined €30,000 for recruitment practices that intentionally excluded
non-white women from promoting its hair wash, "Fructis Style".
L'Oréal is reported as saying the decision was
"incomprehensible", and would challenge the measure in court.
In August 2017,
L'Oréal dismissed Munroe Bergdorf, a mixed-race
transgender model, after she responded to the
Unite the Right rally
Unite the Right rally in
Charlottesville, Virginia by stating in a
Facebook post that racism is
institutionalized in society by white people. Shortly after
L'Oréal released a statement reaffirming their
commitment to “[support] diversity and tolerance towards all people
irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion” and had
terminated their partnership with Bergdorf because her comments were
"at odds with those values."
Loreal is not cruelty free. It pays companies to test on animals for
China market  as
China requires cosmetics companies perform
animal testing in government labs before regulators approve products
for sale. All brands that import products to sell in
China must animal
test. In CNBC's 2017 article, "In China, Big Cosmetic Firms are
Selling Products Tested on Animals," the author reached out to
L'Oréal for a comment but they didn't respond.
Eugène Schueller, the company's founder, was an alleged Nazi
sympathizer, which has been corroborated by multiple sources.
L'Oréal concedes that Schueller was an anti-Semitic fascist. He
was also a member of La Cagoule, which supported the
Vichy regime, and
was a violent, pro-fascist and anti-communist organization. Eugène
La Cagoule and some meetings of
La Cagoule were held at
L'Oréal headquarters. Some of the criminal activities perpetrated by
La Cagoule include firearms transportation, assassinating a former
minister, and firebombing six synagogues. It is unclear
whether he personally met Heinrich Himmler.
Other controversy arose when Jean Frydman, a shareholder and board
member of Paravision, a film subsidiary of L'Oréal, was fired. He
claims that he was let go because
L'Oréal wanted to avoid an Arab
boycott of businesses associated with Jews. In turn, Frydman decided
to expose the past of
André Bettencourt who
married Schueller's daughter, Liliane Bettencourt, and became deputy
chairman for L'Oréal, wrote 60 articles for La Terre Française. La
Terre Française was an anti-Semitic
Nazi propaganda sheet. André has
admitted ownership of the propaganda but claimed he was poisoned by
Vichy regime and said, "I have repeatedly expressed my regrets
concerning them in public and will always beg the Jewish community to
forgive me for them."
André Bettencourt also sheltered Schueller
and several collaborators from the
French Resistance after
Liberation. It was also revealed that
Eugène Schueller hired
Jacques Correze, who was the honorary head of L'Oréal's U.S.
affiliate, Cosmair, and was involved with La Cagoule.
Further controversy arose when it was revealed that
L'Oréal had its
German headquarters for over 30 years, before being sold in 1991, on
land confiscated from a Jewish family during World War II. The Jewish
family has been battling for restitution from the company for three
generations, the latest of which is Edith Rosenfelder, a Holocaust
survivor. Fritz Rosenfelder, was forced to sell the house to a Nazi
official, of which the family never received the proceeds of the sale.
Instead, the family was deported. The Allies passed Jewish restitution
legislation which states that transactions with Nazis, even if
appearing to be with the owner's consent, can be considered invalid.
As the land was sold to an offshoot of L'Oréal, which was later
bought out in 1961 by L'Oréal, the company claims that it is not
responsible for anything that happened before then. The basis for
Rosenfelder's argument is that since the original sale was illegal,
all subsequent sales are equally unlawful. There was restitution paid
in 1951 to the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization, though this
was done without the family's consent and none of the money ever
reached the family. A book by Monica Waitzfelder, daughter of Edith
Rosenfelder, published in French as
L'Oréal a pris ma maison and in
L'Oréal stole my house!, details how L'Oréal, took over
the Waitzfelder home in the German city of
Karlsruhe (after the Nazis
had engineered the removal of the family) to make it its German
headquarters. Monica Waitzfelder is quoted as saying, "All the
other businesses which took Jewish property have since returned it,
without any great debate. I don't understand why
L'Oréal should be
any different from the others." A case was brought before the Supreme
Court in France, but the public prosecutor ruled that there could be
no trial. As of 2007, she is bringing the case to the European Court
of Human Rights.
Following L'Oréal's 2006 purchase of The Body Shop, which does not
support animal testing, The Body Shop's founder
Anita Roddick was
forced to defend herself against allegations of abandoning her
principles over L'Oréal's track record on animal testing. Calls were
made for shoppers to boycott The Body Shop. Sales from the company
subsequently declined by over 40% in a three-month period.
On 31 July 2014 during
Operation Protective Edge
Operation Protective Edge launched by the
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the Gaza Strip, the Israel advocacy
StandWithUs posted several
Facebook photos of care
packages, which they said were donated by
Garnier Israel to female IDF
soldiers. This sparked several calls to boycott Garnier
and L'Oreal worldwide. As of 7 April 2018 no official statement
was made by
Garnier or L'Oreal regarding the donation.
L'Oréal was fined by
Autorité de la concurrence in
France in 2016
for price-fixing on personal hygiene products.
L'Oréal skin care product
Brands are generally categorized by their targeted markets, such as
the mass, professional, luxury, and homeless cosmetics markets. The
Body Shop and
Galderma are directly attached to the head office.
L'Oréal also owns interests in various activities such as fine
chemicals, health, finance, design, advertising, and insurance.
L'Oréal Professionnel, including ARTec and Innate
Kérastase (created by L'Oreal in 1964)
Kéraskin Esthetics, created by L'Oreal in 2007 and specializing in
skin care professionals
Matrix Essentials, founded by Arnie Miller in 1980 and acquired by
L'Oreal in 2000
Mizani, founded in 1991 and bought by L'Oreal in 2001
PureOlogy Research, founded in 2001 and acquired by L'Oreal in 2007
Redken 5th Avenue NYC, founded by
Paula Kent and
Jheri Redding in 1960
and acquired by L'Oreal in 1993
Shu Uemura Art of Hair
Essie, founded in 1981 and acquired by L'Oreal in 2010
Botanicals Fresh Care 
Viktor & Rolf
Créateurs de Beauté
La Roche Posay
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