L’Oréal USA reported on Monday that it will close all U.S. operations of Shu Uemura Cosmetics. (And of course, this comes just as I recently became addicted to their Essence Absolue Protective Oil). In 2000, L’Oréal took a 35 percent stake in Shu Uemura and went on to acquire a controlling interest in the company in 2003. In addition to Shu Uemura, the Luxury Division of L’Oreal USA Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and Kiehl’s brands, as well as a number of fragrance licenses, including Viktor & Rolf and Diesel. “We love the brand, but it is a very small part of our portfolio,” Carol Hamilton, President of L’Oreal USA’s Luxury Division told WWD of Shu Uemura. “It’s a simple decision after a very complex analysis: we have a very large portfolio, and we want to focus on growing the brands which have a larger presence in the U.S. market.”
Currently Shu Umera is available at various locations including Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and four freestanding Shu Uemura boutiques. L’Oreal is now working on an exit strategy for the brand in the U.S. Market, but don’t worry, followers of the line will still be able to purchase the products online at shuuemura.com.