Major Beauty Brands Acquire Smashbox, Essie

Today, beauty media outlets buzzed about the newest acquisition in that market.

Estée Lauder has closed a deal in which they will buy Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Inc. The acquisition is expected to close in July 2010, subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approval, a release issued today said.

Just last month, L’Oréal USA announced that it would acquire Essie Cosmetics, the nail color company founded by Essie Weingarten in 1981.

The purchase price of neither transaction was disclosed.


American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. to Close 28 Stores

If you’ve become a fan of American Eagle’s MARTIN + OSA brand, you may not want to read further.

Today, the company announced that “after an extensive evaluation and review of strategic alternatives,” it will be closing all MARTIN + OSA stores and the online shopping site.

With 28 stores in all, the brand was, according to its website, inspired by Martin & Osa Johnson, who “shared a passion for life and for each other.”

They had dreams they dared to chase and they embarked on adventures, using curiosity as their compass and love as sustenance. They weren’t just alive, they lived — fully and without compromise. To this day, that what-if spirit and a refusal to settle ensures we achieve the very best. Whether it’s the most-loved cashmere, the best-fitting jeans or the softest T’s and shirts in the world, we’re passionate about what we do. And we believe you will be, too.

My guess is that’s all just hot air now.

“Although performance improved from fiscal 2008, management determined that the brand was not achieving performance levels that warrant further investment,” says American Eagle.

In fiscal 2009, MARTIN+OSA generated an after-tax loss of approximately $44 million, including a non-cash impairment charge of approximately $11 million, net of tax.

J.Crew Cuts Staff in Cost-Reduction Program

A while back some our fave places to shop announced their plans to cut staff.

So I wasn’t that surprised when I heard of J. Crew Group, Inc.’s plan to begin a serious cost reduction program.

According to the company’s calculations, they’ll save about $40 million before tax every year with this news strategy.

To save more they’ve begun by

  1. Reducing the workforce by approximately 95 positions (including positions that are currently unfilled) primarily in the New York offices and support functions in the field and distribution centers. That’s about 10% of each department.
  2. Suspending the 401(k) Plan with J. Crew matching contributions through the balance of 2009.
  3. Eliminating 2009 merit based wage increases for the entire workforce.
  4. Initiating other company-wide cost reduction programs to produce efficiencies in areas such as supply chain, store operations, real estate, catalog circulation, and other general savings in the New York offices.

If management needed suggestions on how to help boost their bottom line, they could’ve asked me!

My recommendation?

  1. Having super sales at every J.Crew store!!!

On a serious note, however, this announcement really is a sign of the times.

I’m  hoping the people who lose their jobs find new (and better) gigs soon.

Bye Bye, Steve & Barry’s!


Say “bye, bye” to clothing at ridiculous prices and too-good-to-be-true fabulous finds from Sarah Jessica Parker.

But first, say “hello” to Steve & Barry’s LIQUIDATION SALES!

They’ll last five to seven weeks, with some stores closing sooner.

According to AP reports, the inventory to be liquidated is worth about $250 million.

As we know, Steve & Barry’s filed for bankruptcy in July.

Despite statements that they’d remain open, they’re conceding to nationwide closure.

According to AP,  the chain “fell victim to the deteriorating consumer spending climate.”

So sad!