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Bare Escentuals Headquarters to Move to New York

The move is part of a larger reorganization by parent Shiseido, aimed at concentrating resources for greater leverage.

Bare Escentuals, one anchor of the West Coast beauty scene, is moving its headquarters to New York.

Bare Escentuals is aiming to profit from the use of resources being assembled in New York by Shiseido Americas, a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based Shiseido Co. Ltd., which bought the West Coast company in 2010 for $1.7 billion. “The whole move is to grow the brand,” said Marc Rey, president and chief executive officer of the American unit. “This is not a cost-cutting exercise.”

A sense of momentum has been building throughout the global company since April 1, 2014, when Masahiko Uotani took the reins of the more than 140-year-old company as president and ceo with a mission to increase international sales and expand the portfolio. What followed was a reorganization plan that gathered increased urgency with the recruitment of Rey as chief of the Americas. Centers of excellence for makeup and digital were put in the works and an innovation center was christened in East Windsor, N.J., on May 6.

Rey maintains that Bare Escentuals with its highly ranked bareMinerals brand can benefit from “leveraging the talent pool we have in New York City.”

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BareMinerals is the number-two makeup brand in the U.S. behind MAC Cosmetics, the company maintains.

The natural makeup brand chalked up $441 million in retail sales in 2015, according to NPD. Furthermore, industry sources estimate that the brand pulled in another $300 million through its network of boutiques and direct-selling channels that are not tracked.

He declined to speculate on how many employees will ultimately make the move to New York, since conversations with personnel only began Thursday. Rey simply said, “we are going to offer a significant number of relocations.” Industry sources estimate there are about 150 to 200 people employed at the Bare Escentuals headquarters in San Francisco. Once the headquarters is moved, the only head office staff members remaining in San Francisco will be key account sales personnel, who call on Sephora, which is based in the city. Rey, who noted that Simon Cowell remains ceo, said the move should be complete “at the latest” by the end of April 2017.

In April, Leslie Blodgett, who put bareMinerals on the map in 1995 and led the ascendancy of the company as ceo for 16 years, stepped down in April from her current advisory role and opted to become a member of the Shiseido Americas Creative Team, led by Rey.