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L’Oréal USA Officially Opens West Coast Headquarters

L'Oréal USA welcomes NYX Professional Makeup, Urban Decay, Pulp Riot and Youth To The People into the new hub in El Segundo, California, and hints at a new acquisition.

“Anyone want a haircut?” joked David Greenberg, chief executive officer of L’Oréal USA and president of North America, oversize scissors in hand.

It was the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the French beauty giant’s West Coast headquarters on Tuesday evening. Standing alongside Carol Hamilton, group president of acquisitions for L’Oréal USA, the two officially welcomed NYX Professional Makeup, Urban Decay, Pulp Riot and Youth To The People into the space. They are all now working under one roof at 888 North Douglas Street in El Segundo, California.

“We’ve always had our eyes on Los Angeles and California,” Greenberg told WWD moments earlier, referencing the acquisition of Redken in the ’90s — the hair care company with roots in the Golden State.

Today, while overseeing around 35 beauty brands, L’Oréal USA has generated more than $8 billion in sales annually, according to the company. “It’s been a place of creativity and entrepreneurship, start-up culture, beauty, pop culture, music, arts, film — most recently, streaming and influencers … It’s a place where beauty thrives, a place of creation. We always felt that this was a great place to be,” Greenberg said.

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Hamilton echoed similar sentiments, saying she considers “California the center of the beauty universe and the Mecca of the new trends of what’s happening in beauty. Not only will it be a vibrant house — we consider it more a house than an office for our brands — but it also will be a tremendous source of ideas, business.”

Youth To The People, L’Oréal USA’s latest acquisition, will be relocating in the coming weeks, according to Greenberg and Hamilton. The skin care brand’s section of office space is move-in ready, however, and not far away is an area prepared for L’Oréal USA’s next acquisition. The words “OUR NEXT ACQUISITION…” are written proudly on a white wall, in fact.

“I guess it’s hard to keep that secret when it’s posted on the wall,” said Greenberg with a laugh.

“We’re a very inquisitive company,” he said. “We’re scanning the environment all the time for brands that could be exciting…When you see that sign on the wall, I can’t say today what that brand is going to be, but there will be one — I’m sure of it. And it will be complementary to what we have today. It will bring us a new point of view, and I’m pretty sure it will probably be from California.”

Sitting on a 25-acre campus with more than 100,000 square feet of office and communal spaces (including housing L’Oréal’s Professional Products Academy — marking the hairdressing school’s first West Coast location), Hackman Capital Partners was tapped for the development of the new hub, while Blitz is behind the architecture and design.

It’s California living: There’s a gym (with private showers); it’s dog-friendly; there’s a juice bar, and the lunch menu is full of healthy options.

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The setup — a flowing, open concept with sustainability and wellness in mind — will influence other L’Oréal locations, Greenberg said: “From this, we’ll be inspired now to look at our New York space differently. We’ll see what that ends up being, but I can assure you, it will change. Because I think it’s what you need to do today to make your office environment appealing, attracting and a competitive advantage verses our competition.”

A view of the L’Oreal Los Angeles Headquarters in El Segundo, California on August 23, 2022.
A view inside the new L’Oréal USA headquarters. Michael Buckner/WWD

It’s been a successful first half of the year for L’Oréal, with sales increasing by 20.9 percent, reaching 18.36 billion euros. In North America, sales grew by 23.5 percent reported.

“Every brand here played an important part, without question,” Greenberg said of results. “We grew ahead of the market in every category.”

NYX Professional Makeup is a standout as a strong performer, he went on: “That, I think, is testament to the strength of the brand overall, where it’s been and its ability to connect with consumers. Very, very digitally savvy, a socially driven brand. That for sure stands out. But all the brands here were part of our first-semester results, which were very good.”

L’Oréal USA, L’Oréal Group’s largest subsidiary, has adapted the 3-2 hybrid work model; employees, approximately 500 total, are asked to be in-person at least three days a week as part of a new company approach, influenced by COVID-19.

“This, to me, is a groundbreaking experiment in how to make hybrid-working and the workplace of the future a place that people want to be,” said Greenberg. “Some people are coming five days in person. A lot of people I spoke with today come every day. What we really want and what we really believe is that an environment that creates that kind of collaboration, that kind of connection, that kind of creativity is an enormous value to the business and an enormous value to the company.”

It was in June 2016 that L’Oréal USA opened its current New York City location, based in Manhattan in Hudson Yards. The idea for a West Coast hub came when the company “felt at a certain point that we weren’t harnessing the true experience of California, that the brands weren’t necessarily fully benefiting from all of the resources of L’Oréal, and that by bringing it together in one place — it’s not just a building that houses then-three, now four brands with Youth To The People — it’s a L’Oréal place,” said Greenberg.

“It’s where L’Oréal, whether you’re in New York, Paris or Singapore, can benefit from what happens in California,” he added. “It inspires us as a company. We have a direct connection here that really is a place that we can come and we can be and we can connect. And at the same time, I think we all feel that California is a place where, in the future, exciting things will be happening. And it’s much better to be here in the beginning. You know, we kind of have a saying at L’Oréal, which is that when things are starting, jump on it. I have a strong sense, we have a strong sense as a company, that California is a place where things will always be starting. And so now that we’re here, with this, we have our feet on the ground, our eyes around, we’re living in this culture — there’s an open invitation for all of L’Oréal managers from New York to come here and spend time. For us, it’s more than just a building for brands. It’s a connection that L’Oréal wants to make to the California culture and to be part of the innovation and creativity that is going to come.”