BEAUTY CARE

L’Oreal to lay off 500 U.S. workers

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARIS French beauty company L’Oreal SA is planning to cut 500 jobs in the United States, or 4.7 percent of its U.S. workforce, between now and the middle of 2009, according to published reports.

According to reports, the job cuts are part of its effort to streamline activities and came as little surprise to analysts given the current economic downturn.

“The company is adjusting to a new reality with sales from specialty stores and beauty salon sales in decline,” ING analyst Marco Gulpers, was quoted as saying. Furthermore, slowing travel and hampered perfume sales at duty-free shops and weaker traffic department stores and hurt cosmetic sales, Gulpers noted.

The job cuts are not expected to affect the group’s business in other markets, according to reports.

The news comes several months after the beauty company stated it would close its Sofamo site in Monaco in March 2011 and transfer activities to northern France. The plant makes Helena Rubinstein and Biotherm cosmetic products.

Then in October, the company announced the sale of its Llantrisant site in Wales, which produces shampoo for the U.K. and Western Europe. The company will reportedly shift some production to Western Europe and purchase products from the new owner, Fareva, for the U.K. market.

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P&G files infringement suit against Apollo for Herbal Essences brand

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble has filed an infringement lawsuit against Apollo Health and Beauty Care for the alleged infringement of its Herbal Essences hair care brand, including trademark, trade dress and design.

“We believe this is a serious case of infringement designed to capitalize on the successfulness of the Herbal Essences’ business and its consumer loyalty,” stated Steven Jemison, P&G chief legal officer. “This is a clear case of intellectual property infringement, and we are asking the court to stop the distribution of these products to protect the equity of Herbal Essences.”

According to the suit, filed Thursday in the Federal Court of Canada, P&G is claiming that private label manufacturer Apollo Health and Beauty Care is distributing look-alike Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner products that infringe the Herbal Essences intellectual property rights. P&G is asking that Apollo Health and Beauty Care be ordered to stop distributing the infringing products, recall the existing inventory from store shelves and destroy the product molds.

According to a spokesperson for Apollo Health and Beauty Care, which operates out of Concord, Ontario, Canada, it is company policy not to comment on litigation matters.

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Kangas named CEO at Stila

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Stila, a color cosmetics brand, has promoted Deanna Kangas as president and chief executive officer.

Kangas, who previously served as chief marketing officer, succeeds Ken Ude who served Stila in its senior executive role since July 2007. 

Kangas, who has served in the chief marketing officer role since January 2008, previously co-owned and managed Strategic Growth Consulting, a marketing and consulting firm, as well Swingtime Designs, a fashion and accessories manufacturing company, from 2005 to 2007. Before that, she was general manager of the Barbie Collector division with Mattel and vice president of marketing and public relations with Gloss.com.

Her sales and marketing background includes developing and launching several noteworthy beauty and fragrance brands such as Michael Jordan Cologne and the Bath & Body Works fragrance division. 

Stila is currently available in more than 500 doors in the United States and 21 international markets, as well as online at www.stilacosmetics.com, www.Sephora.com and www.Beauty.com.

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