Shortly after L’Oréal closed the deal to buy Pacific Bioscience Laboratories Inc. — the maker of the hot-selling Clarisonic beauty devices — Carol Hamilton, president of the Luxe division of L’Oréal USA, was hinting Thursday at some admittedly ambitious expansion plans for the newly acquired business.
This story first appeared in the December 16, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Noting that she views Clarisonic as a skin care brand since it “transforms the skin,” Hamilton said it has a lot of potential in the U.S. Her ultimate goal is to put one of the devices in “every woman’s hand and every man’s hand.”
Clarisonic, which generated $105 million in net sales last year, is now distributed through doctor’s offices, spas, prestige retail stores, TV shopping channels and over the internet in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Mexico, Canada and the Far East. L’Oréal will be picking distributors to expand into prestige venues, either department stores or perfumeries.
Pacific Bioscience will be part of the Luxe division with its headquarters remaining in Redmond, Wash, and David Giuliani, chief executive officer and co-founder of the newly acquired company will report to Hamilton. She noted that L’Oréal will build a “world center of excellence” in Redmond. “We want a partnership rather than a merger,” she said.
When asked what possibilities the acquisition will open, Giuliani said, “L’Oréal is in 135 countries, which is 130 more than we are.” He also noted that Clarisonic is strong on sonic technology while L’Oréal is expert at skin care bio-science and chemistry. The union will create a synergy of disciplines that neither side was capable of before.