L'Oreal Closing U.S. Operations of Shu Uemura

Posted on March 31, 2010

Image of Shu Uemura boutique

L'Oreal is closing all U.S. operations of Shu Uemura Cosmetics. L'Oreal has owned a controlling interest in the company since 2003.

Carol Hamilton, president of L'Oreal USA's Luxury Division, told WWD, "This decision is about our desire to focus on growing the larger brands in the Luxury Products portfolio, not because the brand isn't vibrant and beautiful. We love the brand, but it is a very small part of our portfolio. It's a simple decision after a very complex analysis: we have a very large portfolio, and we want to focus on growing the brands which have a larger presence in the U.S. market."

Shu Uemura will still be sold in 18 countries outside the U.S. 80% of Shu Uemura's sales are from Asia. The brand has several freestanding boutiques in the U.S. which will probably be turned into Kiehl's or Lancome stores. The brand has revenues of around $20 million a year in the U.S., so the closure is going to come as quite a shock to loyal customers. L'Oreal says it is talking with Neiman's, Bergdorf's, Barney's and Nordstrom to work out the details of the closure, which is expected to be final in a few months.

Photo: Shu Uemura

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