Coty is one of the world's largest beauty companies and the largest fragrance company, with over $9 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ending in June 2018. Coty acquired 41 beauty brands from Procter & Gamble in 2016, becoming the global leader in fragrance, the second largest company for hair color and styling products, and the third largest company for color cosmetics. The company operates three divisions: Consumer Beauty, which focuses on body care, color cosmetics, fragrances, and hair coloring and styling products; Luxury, for luxury cosmetic, fragrance, and skin care products; and Professional Beauty, which services beauty salon and nail salon professionals. Coty's mission is to "celebrate and liberate the diversity of beauty".
The company has approximately 20,000 full-time employees in 46 countries, as of mid 2018. Coty's executive offices are located in London. The Consumer Beauty, Luxury, and Professional Beauty divisions are headquartered in New York City, Paris, and Geneva, respectively. Peter Harf serves as Coty's chairman. Pierre Laubies serves as CEO. Pierre-André Terisse was appointed chief financial officer in January 2019.
Coty relaunched the CoverGirl and Clairol brands, including the Nice 'n Easy hair coloring product, in late 2017 and early 2018, respectively. The relaunches included new messaging and product development, with an emphasis on diversity. The company also relaunched Max Factor in 2018.
Coty was founded by François Coty in Paris in 1904. The brand's first fragrance, La Rose Jacqueminot, was launched the same year and was packaged in a bottle designed by Baccarat. L'Origan was launched in 1905; according to The Week, the perfume "started a sweeping trend throughout Paris" and was the first example of "a fine but affordable fragrance that would appeal both to the upper classes and to the less affluent, changing the way scents were sold forever". Following its early successes, Coty was able to open its first store in 1908 in Paris' Place Vendôme. Soon after, Coty began collaborating with French glass designer René Lalique to create custom fragrance bottles, labels, and other packaging materials, launching a new trend in mass-produced fragrance packaging. Coty also established a "Perfume City" in the suburbs of Paris during the early 1910s to handle administration and fragrance production; the site was an early business supporter of female employees and offered benefits including child care.
The company began its global expansion in the early 1910s, first in London and New York. Coty established U.S. headquarters at 714 Fifth Avenue in New York City, and commissioned Lalique to design pressed glass panels for the building's façade windows, which were installed in 1912. Coty remained headquartered in the building until 1941. The structure was later given landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission during the 1980s for its custom windows.
Coty began selling other beauty products including face and body powders in the 1910s, and launched one of its most successful fragrances, Chypre, in 1917. The company's products gained more attention in the United States as World War I soldiers started returning from France with gifts for loved ones. During the 1920s, Coty launched more than fifteen new fragrances, and expanded into Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. Coty, Inc. was formed in New York in 1922, and became a publicly traded company in 1925.
François Coty died in 1934; his family maintained control of the company and served as board members until the 1960s.
Coty's Air Spun face powder was launched in 1935. The powder has been described by Real Simple as one of the "best beauty products of all time" and remains mostly unchanged.
Coty became a key player in the American lipstick market with the launch of Coty 24 in 1955. By the 1960s, Coty had become a leading fragrance manufacturer and marketer and the largest fragrance company in the U.S. It attracted the attention of Pfizer, which acquired the company in 1963.
In 1991, the company had annual sales of approximately $280 million. Pfizer sold Coty to Joh. A. Benckiser (now known as JAB Holding Company) in 1992. Coty was a strategic fit for Benckiser, which had another beauty subsidiary, as well as an international distribution network through which it could market Coty's products. Coty's fragrances at the time included Emeraude, Exclamation, L'Effleur, Preferred Stock, Sand & Sable, Tribe, and Wild Musk. Peter Harf, chairman and CEO of JAB since 1988, was named Coty's CEO in 1993. Coty acquired Unilever's European cosmetic brands, including Rimmel, in 1996.
During the mid 2000s, the company focused on marketing celebrity-endorsed fragrances, including David Beckham, Céline Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Shania Twain. Coty also expanded its portfolio of luxury fragrances. It purchased the fragrance license for fashion designer Marc Jacobs in 2003. The company's revenue increased from $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion during 2004-2005.
In 2005, Coty purchased additional licenses for Calvin Klein, Cerruti, Chloé, Lagerfeld, and Vera Wang from Unilever. These newest acquisitions, along with existing portfolio licenses including Adidas, Davidoff, and JOOP!, made Coty the largest global fragrance maker.
Coty acquired Del Laboratories' parent company, DLI Holding Corp., in 2007, adding the Sally Hansen and NYC New York Color brands to Coty's portfolio. The company entered into license agreements with Balenciaga in 2008 and Bottega Veneta in 2009.
The company entered into a license agreement with Tiffany & Co. in 2016. During 2016-2017, Coty acquired Hypermarcas' (now known as Hypera Pharma) beauty and personal care business, ghd, and became a majority stakeholder in the peer to peer digital beauty company Younique. Younique had approximately 80,000 sellers when Coty purchased a 60 percent stake in January 2017, and surpassed 230,000 sellers by December.
Coty acquired licenses to Burberry's cosmetics and fragrance brands in April 2017. In July, Coty added the skincare brand philosophy to Tmall, and launched other brands on the platform as well.
The company underwent refinancing of debt, including debt associated with Galleria, in March 2018.
Environmental practices and social causes
Coty and its brands are committed to a range of social causes as well as seeking to minimize its environmental impact. The company has entered into a long-term partnership with the international advocacy group Global Citizen to tackle prejudice and discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, or ethnicity, and to promote self-expression. Coty has also joined other beauty companies to launch the Responsible Beauty Initiative to encourage sustainability within the industry. Coty has signed the United Nations Global Compact, a UN initiative to encourage businesses to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies.
Coty ranked number 371 on the Fortune 500, Fortune magazine's annual list of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue, in 2018. The company ranked number 5 on Women's Wear Daily 2017 "Top 100" list of the world's largest beauty manufacturers, estimating $9.15 billion in sales. According to Advertising Age, Coty was one of the largest global advertisers in 2017. In 2018, Coty ranked number 1,196 on the Forbes Global 2000, an annual ranking of the top 2,000 public companies in the world by Forbes magazine. Additionally, Coty ranked number 396 on Forbes 2018 list of "America's Largest Public Companies".
^"Windows". The New Yorker: 12. September 24, 1990. By the time the panels and the five-story building that they fronted were slated to come down in 1985 to make way for a new office tower, most people had completely forgotten about them. They were saved by a last-minute reprieve from the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the tower was built behind the historic structure.