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About Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inc.

Merle Norman Cosmetics has built a foundation by offering samples to customers through its "try before you buy" concept. Founded by a young woman named Merle Nethercutt Norman, the company opened its first shop in Santa Monica, California, in 1931. The family owned company makes and markets primarily skin care products and color cosmetics that are sold through some 2,000 independently owned and operated retail outlets operating under the name Merle Norman Cosmetic Studios. Reaching from the US to Canada, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates, its studios are typically located in malls. Brand names include Automatic Definitive, Inspirations, Luxiva, and Only Natural, among others.


To control formulation and maintain quality standards, Merle Norman researches, develops, manufactures, and packages its line of cosmetics and fragrances in the US. Research and development activities take place specifically at its headquarters in Los Angeles. Merle Norman operates warehouse facilities in both Los Angeles and Memphis.

Geographic Reach

While the beauty company's operations are US-centric, the company extends the reach of its business throughout the nation to Canada and Mexico and overseas to the United Arab Emirates.


The beauty company aims to ultimately boast a network of some 2,500 studios. Merle Norman was able to expand in recent years by opening about 125 stores a year. During the economic downturn, however, the company's expansion plans slowed. In an effort to boost its number of studios, Merle Norman is looking to develop new franchise locations in several key markets, such as Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Canada.

Merle Norman is also shifting its focus to growth outside North America. It has looked to luxury markets, such as the United Arab Emirates, to extend its reach and cater to its typical upscale client. To this end, the cosmetics company opened a studio in Dubai -- representing its first overseas market -- as well as nearby Sharjah Mega Mall, Mirdiff City Centre, and a studio in the United Arab Emirates.

The company continues to regularly roll out new products. In 2013 Merle Norman launched a new mascara, a primer that neutralizes redness, scented body care products, and patented technology for chemical peels.

Company Background

Company chairman Jack Nethercutt II is founder Merle Norman's great-nephew.

Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inc.

9130 Bellanca Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045-4772
Phone: 1 (310) 641-3000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Communication Vice President, Sales: Melissa Baker
Chief Operating Officer: Amy Hackbart
Process Control Engineer: Jeanette Hellman
Employees (This Location): 345
Employees (All Locations): 529

Major Office Locations

Los Angeles, CA

Other Locations

Phoenix, AZ
Sylmar, CA
Colleyville, TX
Groves, TX