Beauty wires are abuzz with news that cosmetics juggernaut L’Oreal has acquired edgy makeup brand Urban Decay. Reports vary but L’Oreal estimates of the purchase price range between $300 and $400 million dollars. Part of the deal is that L’Oreal will have complete control over the Urban Decay brand.
So what does all of this mean for the average consumer?
Well, the first major change is likely to be the reversal of the Urban Decay decision not to sell in China. In order to sell cosmetics in China, the Chinese government requires products to be tested on animals. In a move that was praised by many in the beauty community, Urban Decay made the decision to sacrifice access to the largest market on earth to stay cruelty-free.
Another change may be increased retail availability of Urban Decay. Now only available in Ulta and some Macy’s locations, it may be that the power of L’Oreal to command shelf space may spread the brand into additional locations. There’s been a trend over the last few years toward lower price brands like Bare Escentuals and Benefit showing a stronger presence in department store cosmetics departments.
One fact that seems unlikely is a price change. Urban Decay’s price point falls nicely between L’Oreal’s “drugstore” lines (L’Oreal and Maybelline) and the company’s luxury brands (Lancome and YSL).
It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out over the coming months.