Clarisonic, the brand behind the popular facial-cleansing device, is shuttering operations. L’Oreal, the parent company, cited a need to “focus its attention on its other core business offerings.” But according to our data, L’Oreal’s troubles go beyond the death of a fancy face brush. 

💎 Data Digs

Recently, L’Oreal ($EPA:MC) has been losing traction on social media. Facebook mentions have decreased by more than 97% since April 12. Meanwhile, its Twitter follower count has fallen by 60,000. The company's employee headcount also appears to be shrinking, as well. Over just one year, the number of L’Oreal employees on LinkedIn has dropped from 77,000 to 74,000.

⚔️ Big Picture: Clarisonic’s rise and fall

  • Pacific Bioscience Laboratories (PBL), the original parent company, launched its Clarisonic line of products in 2004 under the emerging new skincare category.
  • More than 15 million brushes were sold, with sales jumping to $105 million in fiscal year 2010.
  • L’Oréal acquired PBL in 2011, but market saturation from imitators and innovators doomed Clarisonic as it failed to connect with Gen Z.
  • 120 employees were laid off in 2016, and sales for facial devices worldwide plummeted by 20% in 2019.
  • LinkedIn data shows L’Oreal's employee headcount dropping by 6% since December.

⚡ Opportunity in crisis

  • FOREO, a high-tech beauty product distributed by Sephora, has  been making silicone facial-cleansing devices since 2013. The company has more than doubled its employee headcount on LinkedIn between November 2017 and May 2019.
  • In response to Clarisonic’s closure, Michael Todd Beauty released its own Clarisonic compatible replacement brushes

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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