If you want to kiss and make up, Shiseido can supply the accoutrements. Shiseido Americas is a subsidiary of Shiseido, Japan's largest cosmetics maker. The Americas arm manufactures and markets makeup and skin care products, toiletries, and professional beauty salon products in North and South America for sale throughout the world. Its products, which primarily carry the Shiseido and NARS brand names, are sold through department stores and specialty outlets. The company also operates the professional salon business of Helene Curtis. Another Shiseido Americas unit, Zotos International markets products to professionals. The Americas business has grown to account for roughly 10% of its parent company's sales.
Following a consecutive three-year slide in sales, Shiseido America's sales rebounded by more than 85% over the prior year's low. Shiseido Americas' operating profitability, however, has resisted improvement. In 2011 earnings generated by the Americas plummeted some 70% from 2010.
The results reflect Shiseido America's expansion into major cities in the US, as well as Europe and Asia, coupled with a significant investment to fuel momentum and volatile currency exchange rates. Shiseido's effort to boost sales of cosmetics in department stores (due to the impact of the economic downturn on consumer spending) was aided by its acquisition of Bare Escentuals. Finalized in spring 2010, the $1.7 billion deal for the mineral-based makeup maker gave Shiseido a needed leg up in the US cosmetics market, where Bare Escentuals generates 85% of its sales. As part of the purchase, Bare Escentuals operates as a separate division under the continued leadership of CEO Leslie Blodgett.
The addition of Bare Escentuals followed a decision in 2009 to revitalize the Americas business by consolidating its several activities: Shiseido Americas (formerly Shiseido Cosmetics America Ltd.), NARS Cosmetics, and ZIC Corporation (which holds the men's skincare label, John Varvatos). – less