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Est e Lauder Companies Inc  (EL)
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Est e Lauder Companies Inc

Business Description


The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., founded in 1946 by Estée and Joseph Lauder, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. Our products are sold in over 130 countries and territories under the following well-recognized brand names: Estée Lauder, Clinique, Aramis, Prescriptives, Origins, M.A.C, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Aveda, Stila, Jo Malone, Bumble and bumble, Darphin, Rodan + Fields, American Beauty, Flirt!, Good Skin™, Donald Trump The Fragrance and Grassroots. We are also the global licensee for fragrances and cosmetics sold under the Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan and Michael Kors brand names. Each brand is distinctly positioned within the market for beauty products. We are a pioneer in the cosmetics industry and believe we are a leader in the industry due to the global recognition of our brand names, our leadership in product innovation, our strong market position in key geographic markets and the consistently high quality of our products. We sell our prestige products principally through limited distribution channels to complement the images associated with our brands. These channels, encompassing over 20,000 points of sale, consist primarily of upscale department stores, specialty retailers, upscale perfumeries and pharmacies, prestige salons and spas and, to a lesser extent, freestanding company-owned stores and spas, our own and authorized retailer web sites, stores on cruise ships, television direct marketing, in-flight and duty-free shops. We believe that our strategy of pursuing limited distribution strengthens our relationships with retailers, enables our brands to be among the best selling product lines at the stores and heightens the aspirational quality of our brands.

Distribution

We sell our products principally through limited distribution channels to complement the images associated with our brands. These channels include more than 20,000 points of sale in over 130 countries and territories and consist primarily of upscale department stores, specialty retailers, upscale perfumeries and pharmacies, prestige salons and spas and, to a lesser extent, freestanding company-owned stores and spas, our own and authorized retailer websites, stores on cruise ships, television direct marketing, in-flight and duty-free shops.

We sell some of our products directly to consumers over the Internet through our own websites (Estée Lauder, Clinique, Lab Series for Men, Prescriptives, Origins, MžAžC, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Aveda, Stila, Jo Malone and Rodan + Fields), and through Gloss.com (Estée Lauder, Clinique, Lab Series for Men, Prescriptives, Origins, MžAžC, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Stila, Jo Malone and Rodan + Fields). Gloss.com is a joint venture in which we own a controlling majority interest. Chanel, Inc. and Clarins (U.S.A.) Inc. became partners in the venture in August 2000 and Chanel and Clarins products are also available on the website.

Customers

Our strategy has been to build strong strategic relationships with selected retailers globally. Senior management works with executives of our major retail accounts on a regular basis and we believe we are viewed as an important supplier to these customers.

Competition

The skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care businesses are characterized by vigorous competition throughout the world. Brand recognition, quality, performance and price have a significant influence on consumers’ choices among competing products and brands. Advertising, promotion, merchandising, the pace and timing of new product introductions, line extensions and the quality of in-store sales staff also have a significant impact on consumers’ buying decisions. We compete against a number of manufacturers and marketers of skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, some of which have substantially greater resources than we do.

Our principal competitors among manufacturers and marketers of skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products include:

• L’Oreal S.A., which markets Lancôme, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Garnier, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Biotherm, Helena Rubinstein, Redken, Matrix, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Shu Uemura, SkinCeuticals and other brands;

• Unilever N.V., which markets Dove, Pond’s, Thermasilk, Vaseline Intensive Care and other brands;

• The Procter & Gamble Company, which markets Cover Girl, Olay, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Hugo Boss, Rochas, Escada, Lacoste, Max Factor, Vidal Sassoon, Pantene, Clairol, Wella, Valentino, Gucci, Sebastian, Aussie and other brands;

• Beiersdorf AG, which markets Nivea, Eucerin, La Prairie, Juvena and other brands;

• Avon Products Inc., a direct marketer of Avon Color, Anew, Skin-so-soft, mark, Avon Wellness, and beComing, and other products;

• Shiseido Company, Ltd., which markets Shiseido, Clé de Peau Beauté, Zirh, Nars, Decléor, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier, Helene Curtis, Za and other brands;

• LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton (“LVMH”), which markets Christian Dior, Kenzo, Givenchy, Guerlain, Benefit, Make Up For Ever, Fresh, Aqua di Parma and other brands;

• Coty, Inc., which markets Lancaster, Davidoff, Isabella Rossellini, Rimmel, Astor, Adidas, The Healing Garden, Chopard, Jennifer Lopez, Kenneth Cole, Marc Jacobs, Sarah Jessica Parker, David and Victoria Beckham, Stetson, Calvin Klein, Cerruti, Vera Wang and other brands;

• Revlon, Inc., which markets Revlon, Almay, Ultima II and other brands;

• Chanel, Inc.;

• Clarins S.A., which markets Clarins, Azzaro, Lacoste, Thierry Mugler and other brands; and

• Elizabeth Arden, Inc., which markets Elizabeth Arden, Elizabeth Taylor fragrances, Geoffrey Beene, Halston, Britney Spears and other brands.

We also face competition from retailers that have developed their own brands, such as:

• Gap Inc., which markets The Gap and Banana Republic products;

• Limited Brands Inc., which markets Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Bath and Body Works; and

• Sephora.

Some retailers have acquired brands, such as Neiman Marcus Group, which acquired Laura Mercier.

Some of our competitors also have ownership interests in retailers that are customers of ours. For example, LVMH has interests in DFS Group LTD, Miami Cruiseline Services, Le Bon Marché, la Samaritaine, eLuxury and Sephora.




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