Henkel Buys into Online Hair Colorist eSalon

Jacqueline Barba
Associate Editor, Path to Purchase Institute
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Consumer goods company Henkel has penned an acquisition agreement with Los Angeles-based hair color company as a way to strengthen its own hair coloration portfolio and grow its digital business.

The deal gives Henkel a 51% stake in eSalon, which launched in 2010 and specializes in customized hair products for at-home treatments. 

“With this joint venture, we aim to grow our core business and, at the same time, expand in an innovative digital business model,” said executive vice president Jens-Martin Schwarzler, who is responsible for Henkel's beauty care business. “[eSalon], which addresses the growing trend of personalization in beauty care, will be a perfect fit. We expect to gain valuable consumer insights that will also help us to create meaningful innovations for our classical retail consumers.”

“Through our partnership with Henkel, we look forward to accelerating our marketing efforts and enhancing our product offering for our current and future clients,” said eSalon chief executive officer Francisco Gimenez. The founders and existing management team at eSalon will stay on board and work with Henkel to accelerate growth.

The companies did not disclose any financial details of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals. 

Henkel isn’t the only traditional company trying to break into at-home hair coloring market. In May, L’Oreal USA launched its own direct-to-consumer brand, Color&Co, which offers on-demand consultations with an independent, licensed colorist via live video chat, or a thorough questionnaire, to determine a personalized formula.

Last year, CVS/pharmacy collaborated with eSalon by bringing “Polly” — a branded custom hair color mixing machine  — to the handful of stores piloting the retailer’s BeautyIRL format. On-site eSalon color consultants are available to assist shoppers in determining a desired shade and operating the machine.

About the Author

Jacqueline Barba
Jackie Barba has been an associate editor for for over a year, covering retailers including Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, and Ahold Delhaize. Read More