LONDON — Serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore has sold Soap & Glory — the cosmetics, bath and body firm she founded in 2006 — to Boots for an undisclosed sum, according to industry sources. The brand has annual sales of about 100 million pounds, or $157 million, at current exchange.
This story first appeared in the November 24, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A source familiar with the deal said Kilgore will step away from the London-based business immediately, although part of the deal she negotiated was to secure existing jobs and future investment in the company.
It is understood that Boots, already one of Soap & Glory’s major distributors, will place the brand, known for its accessibly priced products and quirky marketing, within its new global brands division with an eye to further international expansion.
Earlier this year Soap & Glory appointed Vincenzo Minore, formerly of Aveda, as chief executive officer, and added to its product mix with a debut assortment of antiaging skin care called Make Yourself Youthful. Sources told WWD sales could do upward of $10 million at retail in its first year on counter.
“Skin care is really where my expertise lies,” Kilgore told WWD earlier this year, “so with Soap & Glory, my new goal is to bring women the best bang for their skin-care budget.”
Soap & Glory was one of multiple businesses that the enterprising Kilgore, a Canadian former facialist, has created. She started Bliss in the Nineties, later selling a majority stake to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 1999 and her remaining interest to Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2004.
She launched the footwear firm FitFlop in 2007, with the famous — if exaggerated — slogan: “The flip-flop with the gym built in,” which instantly resonated with retailers and shoppers alike.
Earlier this year, FitFlop USA LLC settled for $5.3 million a class-action lawsuit stating the brand falsely advertised the benefits of certain products. The British label would later generate positive buzz by tapping Stephen Jones to put his spin on a shoe.