L’Oreal is a world leader in beauty and cosmetic segment, Headquartered in Paris.
It is present in over 130 countries and owns over 32 international brands & it aims to provide unisex beauty solutions and is active in research and innovations in the same field. Unique thing about this group in the list is the number of patents it has in the fields like nano-technology, dermatology, tissue re-engineering etc.
To make innovation possible it has 6 research centers world-wide including a research center in India. Its origins are traced in 1909 where a French chemist Eugene Schuller developed a hair dyeing formula and based his company on research and innovation which L'Oreal still follows. Nestle S.A ranked 2nd in the list has 24% stake in the group which it continues to hold. L'Oreal group has also diversified into other sectors like Pharmaceuticals by purchasing Synthelabo in 1973 but later was acquired by Sanofi. In coming years it plans to compete based on innovation as well as environment friendly solutions for sustainable growth.
L’oreal biggest strength has been to connect the new brands acquired or develop with the group’s identity creating Omni channel retail strategy which has been the strategies of other players too in the sector. In 2014 it recorded annual sales of $26 billion and $3.3 billion of profit. It pioneered in creating travel retail as a separate distribution channel wherein L'Oreal owned products were customized after identifying travel profiles at airports across the globe. L'Oreal currently owns over 500 brands and has significant presence in all the sub-segments of beauty sector like hair colour, skin care, cleansers, makeup, fragrances, permanents, hair styling etc. It has done significant acquisitions in its 100 years of history the recent being acquisition of The body Shop which increased its presence in the store ownership segment in 2006 and Chinese beauty brand Magic Holdings in 2014.