When it comes to keeping its customers looking naturally pretty, Bare Escentuals has a mineral interest. The company, which rolled out its bareMinerals makeup brand in 1976 along with its first retail shop, develops, markets, and sells natural cosmetics, skin care, and body care items. Brand names include bareMinerals, Buxom, md formulations, RareMinerals, and its namesake line. Bare Escentuals sells its products in the US through about 120 company-owned shops, 880 beauty product retailers, and 1,500 spas and salons. It also has distributors in Canada, Japan, and the UK and other European countries. Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido acquired Bare Escentuals for about $1.8 billion in 2010.
As a result of the takeover, Bare Escentuals gained greater access to the Asian cosmetics market, where Shiseido is a leader. For its part, Shiseido, which had been looking for a way to extend its reach into the US where it had been weak, became an instant player in the US market. The deal made Bare Escentuals a separate division under Shiseido American Corporation; it retained its CEO Leslie Blodgett.
Prior to being purchased, the company had generated 13% of its 2009 sales abroad. Bare Escentuals eked out an extra 1% of revenue through its international business (12% in 2008) through the foundation it built a few years ago. The cosmetics firm had extended its reach overseas by acquiring European cosmetics distributor Cosmeceuticals Ltd. and renamed the company Bare Escentuals UK in 2007. Mirroring its US program, Bare Escentuals has built its international business through its relationship with retailer Sephora and other department stores, about 2,000 UK spas and salons, as well as infomercials and home-shopping TV channels.
To strengthen its domestic foothold, Bare Escentuals plans to continue fueling its media-driven marketing campaign. During the past five years, the company has boosted its net sales by double digits based on this marketing method. On the retail store front, Bare Escentuals also plans to boost its number of company-owned boutiques, albeit prudently until the economy is back in full force. Besides brick-and-mortar distribution outlets, the company also peddles its products via television airwaves (on QVC and major cable networks) and the Internet.
The cosmetics maker raised about $370 million in its 2006 initial public offering. It used the net proceeds to repay its debt valued at more than $230 million. Formerly STB Beauty, the company also changed its name to Bare Escentuals that year. – less