L’Oréal was created in 1909 after Eugène Schueller, a Parisian chemist, invented the first artificial hair dye. The name came from the company’s first hair color, Auréole—the French word for “aura of light”. Schueller quickly diversified the company to incorporate soaps and shampoos and soon began to advertise on the radio. As demand grew for L’Oréal products, Chairman François Dalle took the company into the international consumer products market.
In 1963, the company became public. In the next few years it expanded drastically. L’Oréal’s first major change occurred when it acquired Lancôme, a high-end French cosmetics line, followed by the company’s entry into pharmaceuticals in 1973. It later sold off most of its stake in the pharmaceutical group, but retained a 19.5% share. This was the beginning of a positive growth period for L’Oréal —its motto at the time was “savoir saisir ce qui commence” (seize new opportunities). L’Oréal began to further expand globally and added companies in Romania, Slovenia, China, Japan, Canada, and the United States over the next 20 years. During this time, the corporation invested in numerous product launches that strengthened its brand image.
In early 2000, L’Oréal obtained the cosmetics company Kiehl’s, a multicultural beauty product manufacturer called Carson, and salon product producer Matrix Essentials. These acquisitions were followed by the introduction of the United States’ Fructis line, an important expansion into the domestic market for shampoos and conditioners. In an effort to continue positioning the company as a high end brand, L’Oréal began to market its Lancôme products to a market of younger women (L’Oréal).
According to Hoovers’ analy...
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...Oréal: Strategic Initiatives. (2010). Onesource. Retrieved October 30, 2010, from
Our Company: History of L’Oréal. Retrieved (2010, July 16) from
Partnering with L’Oréal. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Porter, Michael E., Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors
(1980). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial
Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship.
Richardson, Arna. (2010). Cosmetic & Beauty Products Manufacturing. Ibisworld. Retrieved
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