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Hot on the heels of the news that Estée Lauder’s experiment with the Estée Edit was coming to an end after only a year comes some positive news for the company. It’s continuing its strategy of investing in indie brands by announcing that it’s taken a minority stake in Toronto-based Deciem.
The two brands are not disclosing the amount of the investment. Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. said in a release, “Through its unique business model, Deciem has produced some of the most creative independent brands on the market, capturing the passion and trust of devoted fans around the world — and they are just getting started. We look forward to engaging with the team and supporting their global growth aspirations.”
A representative for the company has also confirmed that the company will be opening its first US store this summer, in New York City on Fifth Avenue near the New York Public Library. Deciem currently has 10 stores internationally in places like London, Canada, Seoul, Australia, and Mexico City. Otherwise you can purchase product on its website and at various retailers.
The very very big thing has happened. It will change everything and yet nothing will change at all! @esteelaudercompanies (a really really big company behind really really big brands) has today acquired a minority stake in DECIEM. The ELC team embraced us like a loving family from the very first meeting to the emotional hugs at closing. Instead of trying to control things like big companies sometimes do, ELC insists that we continue to be who we are. We are really emotional today because we know that, together with ELC, we are going to lead innovation in beauty and bring you more and more of very good things (and less and less of very bad delays). We are here today because of your support and love for us along our journey in the past few years. We promise that every step we take will be one to continue to recognize your support. (PS1- No, we won’t change who we are in any way; PS2- Brandon is and will still be the CEO; PS3- Yes, we have a lot of money now to invest in big infrastructure so we can serve you very promptly; PS4- Yes, we will have many more stores in many more places; PS5- We never have and will not test on animals. ; PS6- No, we won’t raise the prices of products we sell to you; PS7- ELC may seem like a big conglomerate, but please believe us when we say that it has a big soul and a team of truly loving people; PS8- The release is here: elc.deciem.com) ❤️❤️❤️
Deciem was founded by Brandon Truaxe in 2013 (read the full story here) and has since blown up. It uses the unusual strategy of producing 10 different sub-brands at once (with several more currently in development), rather than focusing on one product or even one brand at a time, the way so many indie brands do.
Deciem’s most popular brands are The Ordinary, a super affordable line of skincare featuring minimal ingredients and price points well below $10, and Niod, a more expensive and complex line of skincare. You can purchase The Ordinary online at Beautylish and ASOS, where, according to WWD, it’s the retailer’s fastest-selling beauty brand.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Deciem, though. Its popularity (its direct-to-consumer business is up 1,250 percent over the last 12 months, per WWD) has led to a lot of delays in delivering product and customer service snafus. Customers, including some of us here at Racked, often waited weeks for orders to arrive. The company has always been open and apologetic about these delays on social media, and in an Instagram post about the Lauder investment, the company wrote, “We are really emotional today because we know that, together with ELC, we are going to lead innovation in beauty and bring you more and more of very good things (and less and less of very bad delays).”
A recent example of a frustrating delay: The Ordinary released highly anticipated foundations a few months ago and promptly received orders for 250,000. It took many weeks to work through the waitlist, and a rep for the company reports that some popular shades are still out of stock.
This cash infusion will be used to staff up and get product out more quickly, as well as open more brick-and-mortar stores. While this should all be good news for customers, some have not been excited about the Estée Lauder investment, calling Deciem “sellouts” on social media. Animal testing is also a big concern for many customers, and while Estée Lauder states it no longer tests on animals, there’s a loophole in its policy: “If a regulatory body demands it for its safety or regulatory assessment, an exception can be made.” Deciem’s rep sent a statement to Racked: “We have never and will never test on animals.”
Deciem calls itself “the abnormal beauty company,” and its quirkiness is what its fans love. Maintaining authenticity while being partially funded by one of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world is going to be challenging, but seeing what the company does with all that money is an exciting prospect.
Update: July 17th, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
Deciem just announced via its Instagram page that it’s opening up a slew of new US stores in 2017 and 2018. It’s already started work on a store in Miami to open “really soon,” and later in 2017 it will open “multiple locations” in New York City as well as one in San Francisco. The company is also looking for locations in Chicago and Los Angeles and anticipates having stores there in 2018. It’s also putting more international stores in Toronto, Vancouver, London, Manchester, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Hong Kong.
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