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Beauty Beat: Kao’s Molton Brown Buy Finalized … Galeries Lafayette Revamping Flagship Beauty Department

Japan's Kao Prestige Ltd., a division of Kao Corp., has finalized its acquisition of the London-based beauty marketer Molton Brown.

Galeries Lafayette Revamping Flagship Beauty Department
PARIS — Galeries Lafayette is sprucing up the beauty floor of its Boulevard Haussmann flagship here.

On Sept. 1, the department store will unveil a completely revamped beauty space that is to offer new services and brands. The floor space for beauty will be increased by 3,229 square feet, to a total of 26,910 square feet.

The new beauty department will carry 260 brands, of which 30 are newcomers, on 66 stands — or 14 more than before the renovation. The space’s layout will be reworked to revolve around a central area comprising Christian Dior, Chanel, Lancôme and Guerlain stands. A series of aisles running from that central space will divide the perfumery into treatment, fragrance and makeup sections.

Other novelties are to include made-to-measure cosmetics by Colorlab; a Shu Uemura lash bar; a 377-square-foot L’Oréal Paris stand that groups the company’s skin care, makeup and hair care products in one space; an open-sell treatment and hair care area, plus a “parfumothèque” showcasing more than 100 fragrances for customers to sample.

The Galeries Lafayette beauty floor makeover is part of a retail renaissance now taking place on Boulevard Haussmann. The Printemps department store flagship, also on that shopping thoroughfare, created what it calls the world’s largest perfumery in 2003. And, right down the street, Sephora opened a door late last year.
— Brid Costello

Kao’s Molton Brown Buy Finalized
LONDON — Japan’s Kao Prestige Ltd., a division of Kao Corp., has finalized its acquisition of the London-based beauty marketer Molton Brown.

A Molton Brown statement Friday said the firm was acquired for 170 million British pounds, or $298 million, at current exchange, which includes repayment of debt.

As reported last Tuesday, Kao Corp. had confirmed it was negotiating to buy Molton Brown, which markets a line of products and operates retail stores.

“The addition of this brand to Kao Group’s prestige brand portfolio allows Kao to apply its advanced skin care technology to Molton Brown’s products, thus enabling Molton Brown to achieve further growth,” stated Motoki Ozaki, president and chief executive of Kao Corp. “As a result of this merger, Kao’s Prestige Cosmetics business is expected to be able to make inroads into the European prestige cosmetics market.”

Molton Brown is expected to continue to operate as a stand-alone business within Kao’s Prestige Cosmetics division, according to the statement. Michael Warshaw, Molton Brown’s group chairman, will remain with the business during the transition period and Charles Denton will continue to run the business as ceo.

As reported, Kao is also considering making a bid to purchase Kanebo and Kanebo Cosmetics from the state-run Industrial Revitalization Organization. Two years ago, Kao unsuccessfully tried to acquire Kanebo Cosmetics from then financially ailing Kanebo Ltd