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Beauty Sells: L’Oréal

May 24, 2012

The world is constantly changing but if there’s one thing constant it’s that people would like to look good or beautiful.  It helps us attract the opposite sex. Just as importantly people do have a better impression of others who are properly groomed.  While people can be outlandish with their hair dyes and make ups it a way of expression and have some degree of self-esteem.

In Paris, at the turn of the century hair dying was much in fashion.  A young chemist by the name of Eugene Schueller started making the first synthetic hair dyes at night in his kitchen and sold them in the morning to hair salons using the brand name Auréole.  His enterprise was successful allowing him to establish a company later called L’Oréal.

Business was so good that by 1912 the company was selling beyond France into Austria, Holland, and Italy.  In 1920 its products were sold in 17 countries including the U.S., Brazil, and even the Far East. After WW I, Schueller again capitalized in new hairstyle trends and business grew further. L’Oréal began diversifying in 1928 with the purchase of a soap company.

Schueller was great at advertising, but his chemist background also meant he understood the importance of research and development a trait carried on by the company to this day. For every new trend in hair fashion and cosmetics that came along, Schueller made sure his company was in a position to exploit it.  In fact WW II did not stop the growth of the company. To boost morale women would pretty themselves.

Through growth, diversification and acquisitions L’Oréal is now one of the largest companies in the world.  Sales totaled €20.3 billion in 2011. It all began with Shueller producing synthetic hair dyes.

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