I just got off the phone with a PR rep for Procter's hair care division who told me that the company is going to buy Frederic Fekkai & Co., which makes hair products under the Frederic Fekkai brand name.
The company won't say how much the acquisition will cost, but a deal could close as soon as 45 days from now.I find it fascinating that many of you are tuned into news like this. It is very relative to all in a distant way, as it does affect the entire hair industry.
My problem with it, is this . . . I feel that within the beauty industry segment, monopolies happen and they happen everywhere and all the time. For some reason the big boys - our government - does not pay attention to them, they just don't seem to care. But I don't know why. Is it because they are too busy with the Microsoft monopoly, the Elliot Spitzer and NY government hooker scandal # 201, or what?P & G owns so much of the hair industry I'm not sure, but I bet you all might be surprised. When it purchased my hair color sweetheart - WELLA this past year, I literally spent a week in depression. We still don't know the extent of that takeover as its much too new. I do not understand why, again but to get a full list of P & G companies is not an easy task...I'm sure if I went into "detective mode" I could uncover it, but it is NOT easy!
Just for some reference I want to list a small portion of the companies that P & G own...they try to cover it up - ?? I don't get it?? if you are a loud and proud company doing nothing wrong - stand up - be proud. Here is a small list:
can you believe that is a small sampling in one category of many they have??
- Head & Shoulders
- Graham Webb
- Balsam Color
- Touch of Sun
- La Coste
- Loving Care
- Natural Instincts
- Max Factor
- Cover Girl
- Nice N Easy
- OLAY ( number 1 brand in USA)
- Old Spice
- Herbal Essences
Owning a huge percentage of companies in one segment ( like hair) can be a disadvantage because it controls the competition. Competition is good for the consumer, it creates better products in my mind and many experts humble opinions. but if you own company A and company B who are in direct competition with each other - then there is no way to inspire and produce a better product... because you control BOTH SIDES.
This is probably not a popular subject and God help me if P & G gets wind of my statements, I might not be here next week! No one ever speaks poorly about P & G...I dare you to find any negative reporting about the company. Baffles the mind.
A few interesting points about this acquisition:
1) The big news out of P&G this year has been that the company is getting rid of one of its biggest brands (Folgers), and executives have said they want to get rid of more. Clearly Procter is on the path toward being a leaner company, but now we see that that doesn't necessarily mean they won't still make some acquisitions
2) That said, the question is why does buying a brand like Fekkai, which is relatively small compared to some of its existing mass-market brands like Pantene, Head & Shoulders and Herbal Essences, make sense to a company that is trying to get rid of brands?
The answer is Fekkai opens up a new sales channel for P&G, the so-called prestige market for hair care products. Fekkai is sold in high-end stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstrom, where Procter has little, if any, penetration for its hair care products.
Procter also thinks it can grow sales of the Fekkai brand.WSJ notes that "Hair-care products are the fastest-growing segment of the high-end beauty market" which is why I got into this industry 17 years ago, I could see where it was going. Remember my little hobby of being able to pick-out hot topics...
The deal is part of P&G's focus on building its high-margin, fast-growing beauty business.
"Fekkai is a strategic fit for our hair care portfolio and a demonstration of our desire to win with key brands in the prestige channel," said Randall Chinchilla, a spokesman for P&G's beauty business. The success of PUREOLOGY, has done nothing but spur these brands to try to follow in its path, don't they know that never works.
The purchase would add to P&G's line of upscale beauty products that includes SK-II skin care and Hugo Boss fragrances. The French-born Fekkai will have an ongoing role, P&G said."He will continue to drive creative efforts, brand image and product developments," Chinchilla said. Besides hair care products for women and men, Fekkai has salons in New York City, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Dallas and Palm Beach, Fla., with more planned, including one opening this spring in Greenwich, Conn. the Beverly Hills Fekkai Salon approached me to become their head Colorist just before I was diagnosed, even thought the drive would have been 1.5 hours I did consider the idea. I have always liked his style and theories - he is a class act.
But.....BUT . . . This is a subject i wanted to entertain in another manner, but might as well get it out of the way...then I will be done with the negative crap...once and for all. I just need to get it off my back and feel you all need to know it.
Here is Fekkai's story:
Fekkai opened his first salon. He quickly became known for his innovative cutting technique, which required clients to stand for a portion of the cut to make sure their new style fit with their overall appearance. Fekkai's flair for creating super-flattering styles had socialites and beauty editors flocking to his chair. Word of his transforming talents spread quickly and before long, Fekkai became one of the hottest names in the hair biz—with a roster of A-list clients that would make any Hollywood agent green with envy.
There are 4 reasons in my opinion he shot up to the level he did. He is: 1) Handsome 2) French 3) Straight & Sexy 4) Talented hair cutter. He fits that "dream hair stylist" as far as appearance . . . Look at the man! He's gorgeous and has an incredibly warm and sexy accent as well as being straight, many like sitting in his chair for those reasons alone. Do not get me wrong, he is an extremely talented hair cutter. Extremely talented - he has a wonderful warming presence and has been nothing but beneficial for the hair industry. He and Sally are 2 I admire -- neither do color, nor know anything about it, they only cut. That should be no reason to take away anything from them, cutting is a brilliant art and difficult to master.
Within the hi-end Salon system in the USA we are attempting to make the switch and follow the brilliance and efficiency of the European Salon system, where there are Cutters and Colorists - separately. No one does both in those countries. The USA needs to make this move, if you want to master either you need to focus on one. That being said, when the worlds are divided like that they are defined very clearly.
- anything "chemical"
- hair styling (pin curls, finger waves, etc.)
- blow drying
- thermal styling
- all hot tools
- up do's
its clearly precisely defined.
So when Fekkai comes out with a line hair care products or even Hershberger ( i truly am trying to teach you how the system works) my skin crawls . Look at their list. What do they specialize in? They know zero about chemicals / products/ ingredients. They don't even work within that world on a daily basis. The company comes to them and says, 'can we put your name on our products'? . . . Yes, Of course they try them . . . yes, of course - they listen to the chemists and yahoo's at the company tell them how wonderful the products are...but come on don't you think the big Colorists should be whose name on that bottle??
Whew, its now off my chest. Whatever you think of the take over, the last thing I want to see is my readers using lousy products...I am working on discovering a whole new slew of properly formulated products to choose from in all categories -- so stay tuned for that. When I was in the salon I kept up on this and have slacked off. . . I promise you I am back on the train again...just give me a little bit of time to get the testing completed