Sweet scents and more are behind Elizabeth Arden's auspicious red door. The firm owns and licenses prestige and mass market celebrity, lifestyle, and designer fragrances and distributes about 280 prestige fragrance brands. Fragrance generated some 77% of 2014 sales. Established labels include Red Door, Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue, and Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds. Scents aimed at younger wearers include the Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj licensed brands. Its fragrances, cosmetics, and skin care lines (Ceramide, PREVAGE, Visible Difference) are sold to US department stores and mass retailers, as well as international retailers. In 2016 cosmetics giant Revlon Inc. acquired Elizabeth Arden for more than $419 million in cash.
Change in Company Type
Following Revlon's acquisition, the company ceased operating as a public company after delisting its common stock from NASDAQ.
Elizabeth Arden products are sold in more than 120 countries through 50,000-plus retail locations worldwide. About 45% of the company's sales come from foreign markets, led by the UK, which has shrunk over the last few years, followed by growth in Australia, Canada, and South Africa.
Cosmetic Essence makes Elizabeth Arden products and a separate company runs its Red Door salons.
Elizabeth Arden divides its business between North America and International activities.
Contributing 57% of 2014 revenue, the North America segment sells Elizabeth Arden's lineup to department stores, mass retailers, and distributors in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It includes Elizabeth Arden namesake retail outlets and e-tail business, and some 50 Red Door beauty salons operated by privately-held Red Door Spa Holdings. As part of its agreement with the salons, Elizabeth Arden charges the salons a licensing fee based on sales of its namesake products and for use of its Elizabeth Arden and Red Door trademarks.
The International segment drives the sale of owned and licensed brands beyond North America to perfumeries, boutiques, department stores, travel retail outlets, and distributors.
Sales and Marketing
The beauty company sells its fragrances, cosmetics, and skin care through a variety of retailers. It relies on retailers and specialty stores the likes of Macy's, Dillard's, Ulta, Belk, Sephora, Bloomingdale's, and Nordstrom. Mass retailers include Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl's, Walgreens, CVS, and Marmaxx in the US and internationally in Boots, Debenhams, Superdrug Stores, The Perfume Shop, Hudson's Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Myer, and Douglas. Travel retail outlets, such as Nuance, Heinemann, and World Duty Free, also carry Elizabeth Arden products. Elizabeth Arden also boasts namesake retail outlets and an e-commerce site.
Elizabeth Arden devoted fewer dollars to advertising expenses in 2014, logging $367.8 million that year, down from $414.1 million in 2013 and $353.1 million in 2012.
Elizabeth Arden logged $1.16 billion in revenue in fiscal 2014 (ended June), representing a 13% decline from $1.34 billion in 2013. The unfavorable impact of foreign currency -- together with $9.5 million in returns and markdowns recorded as a result of the company's 2014 Performance Improvement Plan and Pricing Changes -- also dragged down revenue results. The company, however, reported a $145.7 million loss in 2014, attributable to a 13% drop in sales. In 2014, Elizabeth Arden posted $38 million in net cash used in operating activities, down more than $100 million from 2013's cash flow of $62 million.
Having become a centenarian in 2009, older and wiser Elizabeth Arden has shifted its focus to serving the younger and determined-to-stay-young consumer on a global basis. To this end, the beauty company regularly introduces new products in each of the skin care, fragrance, and color categories that strengthen its association with leading celebrity and designer names, as well as anti-aging lifestyle trends.
The company's also working to penetrate international markets, particularly in the large European fragrance sector, with its prestige fragrance portfolio. Additionally, it aims to grow in markets such as Brazil and the Middle East.
The company acquired the global licenses and certain related assets for Justin Bieber's Someday and Girlfriend perfume labels in 2012 and Nicki Minaj's fall fragrance from Give Back Brands. Elizabeth Arden already holds an exclusive global fragrance agreement with country pop singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Elizabeth Arden also purchased the licenses and related assets for the Ed Hardy, True Religion, and BCBGMAXAZRIA fragrance brands from New Wave Fragrances (for $60 million), and has launched a stream of other celeb and designer fragrances, including scents sold under the Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Kate Spade, and John Varvatos brands.
It's developing and marketing fragrance products for indie vintage-inspired women's knitwear designer brand Wildfox Couture based on an agreement it entered in 2014. Elizabeth Arden also inked a long-term licensing agreement in 2011 with women's apparel maker Liz Claiborne. The deal gives Elizabeth Arden the right to acquire the trademark to Liz Claiborne's Curve and Lucky Brand names and builds upon Elizabeth Arden's successful pact to make and market Liz Claiborne fragrances under name brands Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand, Liz, and Usher.
To boost its namesake spa business to keep pace with growth of its namesake brand, Elizabeth Arden invested $9.7 million from 2013 to 2014 in Elizabeth Arden Spa Holdings, LLC, which operates subsidiaries Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas and the Mario Tricoci Hair Salons.