Henkel has acquired a 51 percent stake in eSalon, a custom hair color business.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ESalon did about $30 million in sales for fiscal 2018, according to the company, mostly in the U.S. market.
For Henkel, the deal ups access to technology and gives it access to a direct-to-consumer platform. While eSalon branched into CVS in 2018, the brand is primarily sold directly to consumers online, where they can take an online survey before a fully personalized hair color is created for them. Subscriptions are also available.
“We continue to drive the execution of our strategy by strengthening our portfolio and our digital capabilities through targeted investments. With this joint venture, we aim to grow our core business and at the same time expand in an innovative digital business model. The strong eSalon business which addresses the growing trend of personalization in beauty care will be a perfect fit. We expect to gain valuable consumer insights that will also help us create meaningful innovations for our classical retail consumers,” said Jens-Martin Schwärzler, executive vice president, and the person in charge of Henkel’s beauty-care business.
Henkel owns many hair brands, including Schwarzkopf, Kenra and Sexy Hair.
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ESalon’s founder, Francisco Gimenez, and management team will stay in place. He said the business will be able to accelerate marketing efforts and “enhance [its] product offering” through the deal.
The investment also follows Henkel’s purchase of Zotos, formerly the professional division of Shiseido, in 2017.
ESalon was one of the first to enter the custom hair-color space, launching formulations in 2010. Since then, other players have entered the market, including Madison Reed, which centers more on ingredients than custom color, and Color & Co., the recently launched, fully customizable color system from L’Oréal.
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